Look Before You Leap

Submitted by patentadmin on Wed, 06/02/2010 - 10:08

It may be debated whether size is important. Be that as it may, the ability to boast about size is clearly VERY important – at least to the folks at Subway. Yes, the same people whose television spokesman claims to have lost hundreds of pounds eating their sandwiches has now claimed trademark, i.e. exclusive rights to use of the term FOOTLONG in connection with sandwiches.

To that end, their attorneys have been sending letters to other sandwich purveyors who have had the temerity to describe their sandwiches as being “footlong,” “[y]ou are hereby put on notice to cease and desist from using FOOTLONG (TM) in association with sandwiches. You must immediately remove all references to FOOTLONG (TM) in association with sandwiches.”

One such letter was sent to The Coney Island Drive Inn in Brooksville, Florida, which has been selling 12-inch hot dogs, known as “footlongs,” for over 40 years. Oops! When this fact was brought to their attention, Subway’s attorneys decided that the letter to Coney Island had been sent “in error.” The attorneys now state that Subway is not claiming exclusive rights with respect to “hot dogs,” only with respect to “sandwiches.” We, however, had always been of the belief that a hot dog was a sandwich. If this is the kind of logic Subway employs, perhaps someone should look into that claimed weight loss.

THE LESSON TO BE LEARNED: Check dates of use before accusing someone else of infringing your rights.

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