FRANCHISE TRADEMARK LITIGATION
The Royal Castle hamburger chain is to Florida what the White Castle chain is to New York. By the 1990’s however, only two Royal Castle restaurants remained, independently owned and located approximately 5 miles from each other. Royal Castle Inc. professed to have acquired exclusive trademark rights to the Royal Castle mark, directly from Royal Castle Systems, the former registered trademark owner. CLIENT was sued for trademark and trade dress infringement. The litigation was particularly acrimonious, as the parties were former workmates with a history of issues and settlement was ultimately not possible. We countered for fraudulent registration and asserted the defense of laches. The court found in CLIENT’S favor, preserving CLIENT’S investment in the franchise trademark.