Today marks the first day of business for Tasty Made, Chipotle’s new burger-and-fries concept. At least one of the new restaurant’s competitors is none too pleased. Boston-based Tasty Burger has long argued that Tasty Made’s name and logo bears a striking similarity its own. Today, the Boston chain announced that it would continue “to take legal steps to fight” what it says is trademark infringement.
Tasty Burger (which has six locations on the East Coast) has filed a “consolidated notice of opposition” to all Tasty Made marks filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Essentially, this means that Tasty Burger is seeking to prevent Tasty Made from using its trademark, on the grounds that the Boston-based chain could be damaged by its use.
A spokesperson for Tasty Burger provided the following comparison:
In a statement emailed to Eater, Tasty Burger CEO David DuBois said (via a spokesperson) that Chipotle was willfully using “a confusingly similar name and marks, despite being made aware of the confusion.”
The Tasty Made brand, says Tasty Burger, is confusing to customers, as both restaurants specialize in the same kind of food: burgers and fries. “Frankly, as a $12 billion Goliath, Chipotle knows full well an independent business like Tasty Burger only has two choices: stand the ground and weather the storm both financially and legally, or let them steamroll over us,” says DuBois in his statement.
As for whether Tasty Burger plans to eventually sue Chipotle over its use of the Tasty Made trademark, it seems nothing is off the table. “As long as Chipotle continues to flout the concepts of fairness and decency on their path to minimize and confuse our customer base,” says DuBois in the statement, “we will continue to fight them through all avenues available to us.”
In a statement sent to Eater via email on Thursday, Chipotle spokesperson Chris Arnold said there is no trademark conflict between the fast casual chain’s new burger concept and the Boston-based Tasty Burger:
There is no trademark conflict between our name and the Tasty Burger name. The US Trademark and Patent Office (USPTO) has approved all Tasty Made trademark applications for registration on the primary register. We do not believe that Tasty Burger has any basis for a claim or objection to such approval. We view no confusion or conflict here. While we did discuss Tasty Burger's concerns with them, such discussions led us to believe that Tasty Burger is simply using this as a way to build awareness for their brand and has no valid legal basis to challenge our trademark.