Call it a case of David vs. Goliath. The owners of swanky nightclub Tao filed a federal lawsuit in Portland, Maine, against a 40-seat restaurant in Brunswick, Maine, with the same name.
The lawsuit claims trademark dilution and infringement, unfair competition and cybersquatting.
TAO Licensing, based in Delaware, registered "TAO" as a trademark for its restaurants in 2001 and for entertainment facilities in 2010. "The company argues that it has spent much time and money promoting its ventures and that the general public associates its mark with the services it provides," according to the Portland Press Herald.
The "tao" in TAO Restaurant in Brunswick means "peach" and is based on a Chinese fable about a fisherman who unexpectedly finds secluded utopia in the midst of a peach grove, said Cecile Stadler, who runs the Maine business with her daughter, Cara, and husband, John. The "tao" used by the plaintiffs, Cecile Stadler said, is a different Chinese character that is associated with Taoism.
The Maine restaurant, which includes a bar and lounge that seats 12, says it has no nightclub.
· NY, Vegas Taos Say Maine Tao Hijacked Their Name [Eater Maine]
· Vegas Nightclub Company Sues Maine Restaurant Over Name [Portland Press Herald]
· All Coverage of Tao [~ELV~]
Tao in Brunswick, Maine [Photo: Brunswick Maine Daily]