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Angry Birds Developer Sues Nashville Hot Chicken Restaurant For Trademark Violations

Rovio has filed a lawsuit in the Central District Court of California which states that the restaurant is breaching its trademark.

Angry Birds developer Rovio is suing a California restaurant for trademark violation. The Finnish studio has filed a lawsuit in the Central District Court of California which states that the restaurant is breaching its trademark with their "Angry Birdz" restaurant.

The restaurant is called "Angry Birdz Nashville Hot Chicken" and features a dabbing chicken on their menu, alongside the logo. The logo itself is very similar to that for the Angry Birds mobile game, using both the same color and a very similar font.

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Rovio sent a cease and desist to the restaurant owners back in February but says that, despite communicating with them since then, they’ve been unable to reach an agreement.

In comments to Gamesindustry.biz, IP attorney Stephen McArthur of McArthur Law has stated that the lawsuit has strong legal grounds to succeed. This is mostly due to the logo’s font being so similar to that of the mobile game.

via yelp.com

The fact that the Angry Birds brand is licensed out on such a wide range of products also means that it can be argued that licensing their brand to a restaurant is not unbelievable.

On the similarities, McArthur says, "The fact that they use the same font as the game is actually a huge problem for them. Courts consider this to be a factor in increasing confusion. It also shows willfulness and the intent to confuse. They would have been wise to use an entirely different font.”

This isn’t the first time a games company has sued for trademark infringement, far from it. Late last year Nintendo sued Japanese go-kart company Maricart, who were hiring out vehicles and costumes heavily inspired by Mario KartNintendo won their case and the company was forced to pay a fine and stop renting out Mario-themed costumes. They have now diversified, instead giving out alternative costumes for people to wear while riding their go-karts, which are newly emblazoned with the words “unrelated to Nintendo.”

It remains to be seen what will happen next for the "Angry Birdz" restaurant but Rovio is seeking a prohibition against the restaurant which will prevent them from using either the name or logo in the future. They are also seeking unspecified damages.

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