Melbourne pubs in name dispute over “Schnitz ‘n Tits” nights

A legal battle is looming between two Melbourne pubs over the name of the themed night “Schnitz ‘n Tits”, with the pubs gearing up for a fight over the right to use the name.

The concept originally involved chicken schnitzels being served by topless waitresses at the St Kilda establishment the Newmarket Hotel, but in 2007 the pub was closed for renovations and one of the regular patrons decided to register “Schnitz ‘n Tits” as a business name and purchase the domain name.

Jeff Yates, owner of events planning business Big Boys Club, registered the name with the intention of running his own nights to ensure the event would not disappear from Melbourne.

Yates told SmartCompany the nights are always a success and tonight sees the return of Schnitz ‘n Titz to Chapel Street cocktail and cabaret bar Red Bennies.

But come August, the Newmarket Hotel intends to bring back its own Schnitz ‘n Tits” night, Fairfax reported this morning.

“I’ve given them [the owners of the Newmarket Hotel] a call wanting to discuss the name, but unfortunately I haven’t heard back,” Yates says.

“I actually used to work with them quite a bit and I have no major concerns with them running another night like this. I’d actually be interested in running it with them, but I’ve worked really hard on trying to use the brand and establish it as an entity and it’s all just very disappointing.”

SmartCompany contacted Newmarket Hotel, but no comment was available prior to publication.

Fairfax reported this morning the Melbourne Pub Group, which owns Newmarket Hotel, was aware of Yates’s concerns, but said the concept will still be launched.
“The concept will go ahead. Basically we’re paying homage to the Newmarket’s past … but we’re still considering what we’ll call it. We might just call it Tits ‘n Schnitz, but we haven’t confirmed it just yet,” Melbourne Pub Group spokesperson Jenny Brookes was quoted as saying.

If the name is similar, Yates says he intends to seek legal advice, but he’s “not really sure” what his legal entitlements are.

Hall and Wilcox partner Ben Hamilton told SmartCompany registering a business name does not ensure exclusive rights to a name.

“It’s not about protecting the name. The business name registry system is used for businesses to enable them to know who is trading under the name.

“It’s mandatory to register a name which is different to your company name. People can search the business name registry and work out which company is behind the name, so it’s really more about protecting consumers,” he says.

Hamilton says trademarking a name is the best way to protect it.

“Generally a trademark is the right to use that term exclusively and says whether or not you are entitled to register it as a business name.

“Without capturing the term as a trademark, it comes down to whether or not you can establish someone using that term is engaging in misleading and deceptive conduct,” he says.

Hamilton says, in his experience, issues arise when a person hasn’t trademarked the name.

“It’s a simple but strong message: steps should be taken to protect a name by trademark by trademarking it,” he says.

 

Trending

COMMENTS

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments