The grass is not always greener on the Vegan side
The BC Hospitality Group (one of Denmark's largest companies within the hotel, conference, trade show and hospitality sector) has accused America celebrity chefs Chloe Coscarelli and Tom Colicchio of trade mark infringement.
Chloe Coscarelli and Tom Colicchio established a vegan pop-up restaurant called ‘Supernatural’ this year in New York. According to the evidence submitted for the declaratory judgment, BC Hospitality Group sent a letter accusing the two American chefs of infringing its earlier marks for the ‘by Chloe’ brand.
Chloe Coscarelli and Tom Colicchio have requested a declaratory judgment (a judgment of the court that determines the rights of the parties involved without ordering anything to be done or awarding damages) against the BC Hospitality Group. The American chefs hope this will prove that they have not infringed any earlier trade marks of BC Hospitality Group by using the mark ‘by Chloe’ to open their pop-up vegan restaurants.
The declaratory judgment was filed in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York. Prior to this, the BC Hospitality Group owned a series of marks stating ‘by Chloe’ that were opposed by Chloe Coscarelli. Previously, Chloe Coscarelli had partnered with a predecessor of BC Hospitality Group to develop the ‘by Chloe’ series of vegan restaurants. Chloe Coscarelli brought opposition proceedings against BC Hospitality Group before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.
BC Hospitality Group stated that a name, face and likeness agreement (NFL) had been entered into by Chloe Coscarelli. However, Chloe Coscarelli responded by stating that the NFL agreement provided BC Hospitality Group with a licence to use her name, face and likeness for a limited time “…to the company operating “fast-casual” vegan restaurant ‘by CHLOE.’”In March 2018, the NFL agreement was cancelled.
Nevertheless, BC Hospitality Group claims that their customers are confusing their brand with that of the restaurant ‘Supernatural’. Consequently,the American chefs are hoping that the declaratory judgment states that their vegan restaurant ‘Supernatural’ neither infringes the NFL agreement or BC Hospitality Group’s trade marks.