Independent restaurant chain Burger Urge has removed references to its new product “The Sizzle” from social media after ASX-listed Collins Foods filed federal court proceedings against the company.
Collins Foods, owner of Sizzler restaurants in Australia, first kicked up a fuss about the new burger, originally called “The Sizzler”, earlier this month, issuing a cease-and-desist notice claiming the product infringed on its trademark.
Burger Urge — a veteran of intellectual property stoushes — responded mockingly on social media, saying it “didn’t think there were any Sizzlers left” and claiming the burger was a “tribute”.
“Greg Sizzler (founder of Sizzler) [sic] just had one of his potato-skin-loving goons send us a cease and desisit … we thought they went broke in the early 2000s, long after the Pumps in our Reeboks had stopped working,” the company told its customers on Facebook.
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Burger Urge committed to continuing sale of the burger, but nevertheless changed the name to “The Sizzle”.
But in a plot twist that became apparent over the weekend, all references to the renamed burger and social media posts mocking Sizzler have now disappeared from Burger Urge’s online profiles.
It appears Collins Foods did not take kindly to Burger Urge’s jovial tone, engaging lawyers at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan to file a statement of claim with the Federal Court of Australia on Friday afternoon.
A procedural hearing for the trademark dispute was scheduled for this morning at 10:30.
In its initial cease-and-desist letter, dated June 4, Sizzler’s lawyers claimed the chicken sandwich, which uses a “cheese bread product”, was similar to the trademarked “cheese toast” Sizzler offered as a signature dish.
“Your use of “cheese bread” in association with The Sizzler trademark increases the likelihood of confusion arising amongst customers,” the letter reads.
Collins Food declined to comment and Burger Urge failed to respond to requests for comment on Monday morning.