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Wolfgang Puck files trademark suit

May 15, 2008|From Bloomberg News

Wolfgang Puck, the Austrian chef and franchiser of more than 80 namesake eateries, filed a trademark lawsuit against competing restaurateur Wolfgang Zwiener for opening a Beverly Hills steakhouse with a similar name.

The new restaurant, Wolfgang's Steakhouse by Wolfgang Zwiener, will confuse diners because the chef's name isn't displayed as prominently as "Wolfgang's Steakhouse," according to the infringement suit filed Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court.

Zwiener is "brazenly seeking to take unfair advantage of the reputation and enormous good will developed over the last 32 years by Wolfgang Puck and the Wolfgang Puck brand," Puck, 59, said in the lawsuit.

Peter Zwiener, the chef's son and president of the restaurant's operating company, declined to comment.

The location of the new steakhouse also confuses diners because it's on the same street as Puck's flagship restaurant Spago, opened in 1997, and it's just a few blocks from Puck's own steakhouse Cut, opened in 2006, the suit says.

Puck claims that Zwiener violated a March 2007 agreement that he would "eliminate confusion" if he opened a restaurant outside Manhattan, according to a statement. Zwiener has two New York locations, including one on Park Avenue and one on Greenwich Street in Manhattan's upscale Tribeca neighborhood.

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