Trademark Case Close to Home: Blue Door v. Bluzy’s Roadside Bar

The Blaine restaurant, Bluzy’s Roadside Bar, recently reach settlement with Rich Pour Enterprises, LLC, owner of The Blue Door Pub to change its name to “The Roadside.”

Bluzy’s original opened in the Fall of 2013 with its original name of “Blucy’s Roadside Bar.” When Rich Pour objected claiming it was too similar to its hamburger called “Blucy” the restaurant settled on “Bluzy’s Roadside Bar.” Apparently, that was not good enough because Rich Pour sued in federal court claiming trademark infringement. Infringement can occur when the offending mark is identical or “confusingly similar” to the original mark.

To determine if a likelihood of confusion exists, a court weighs the following factors:

(1) the strength of the mark;

(2) the proximity of the goods;

(3) the similarity of the marks;

(4) evidence of actual confusion;

(5) marketing channels used;

(6) the type of goods and the degree of care likely to be exercised by the purchaser;

(7) defendant’s intent in selecting the mark; and

(8) likelihood of expansion of the product lines.

To help support its cause of action, Rich Pour cited an actual case of confusion when a person wrote on Bluzy’s Facebook page, “Just saw you on Diners, Drive Ins (sic) and Dives and OMG I want one of your burgers now!!!,” when it was actually The Blue Door that was featured on “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.”

The parties settled out of court with Bluzy’s agreeing to change its name to just “The Roadside.” Therefore, it is unclear whether a court would have ruled in favor of Rich Pour.

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