Thursday, July 18, 2024

Read This Amazingly Good Complaint About The ‘Krusty Krab’ Trademark

The recipe for Krabby Patties is safe for another day: A restaurant was denied the chance to call themselves the “Krusty Krab” when a federal court ruling decided a name doesn’t have to be trademarked to be considered protected by trademark laws.

The restaurant from the much-loved television show is famous for its patties, grumpy cashier, and the overly-zealous SpongeBob Squarepants on the grill.

As Consumerist points out, the complaint from Viacom, SpongeBob’s parent company, contains some of the most ridiculously delightful, dare we say prose, to grace a formal letter:

“The ‘Krusty Krab’ is owned by Eugene H. Krabs, a prominent and recurring character in the SpongeBob universe. SpongeBob SquarePants works at the ‘Krusty Krab’ as a fry cook, but he also performs a myriad of other duties, and once stated that his official title is ‘Vice Assistant General Manager in charge of certain things.’ The ‘Krusty Krab’ is the scene of many comical exchanges between SpongeBob and his co-worker, Squidward Tentacles. SpongeBob loves his job and considers Squidward a close friend; Squidward hates his job and does not like SpongeBob.

“‘Krusty Krab’’s chief competitor is the ‘Chum Bucket,’ which is owned by Sheldon J. Plankton, Mr. Krabs’ worst enemy. The ‘Krusty Krab’ maintains an advantage over the “Chum Bucket” based upon the popularity of its ‘Krabby Patty’ burger.”

A U.S. District Court judge decided that “ownership of a mark is established by use in the market, not by registration.” Since Spongebob is a highly valuable holding for Viacom, and the Krusty Krab name is so distinctively associated with Spongebob, its use merited trademark protection.

The company trying to use the name, IJR Capital Investments, told the Wall Street Journal that they believed the decision was handed down from a biased judge. Don’t be a Squidward, guys. There are other pineapples in the sea.

[h/t Consumerist]


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