In another case of “just tweak it a little and hope nobody notices,” an Australian restaurant has started selling “In & Out Aussie Burgers” down under—and Irvine-based In-N-Out Burger has filed a lawsuit. The virtual burger joint in Queensland didn’t operate a brick-and-mortar store and was delivering bigger burgers than the original, alongside delicacies like onion rings, which have never been on the authentic menu. The real In-N-Out marked their turf down under with one-day pop-ups in Sydney and Brisbane last year and made sure to use the ® logo to protect their name. Nations Restaurant News reports that owner Puneet Ahori of “Rich Asians pty. Ltd.” covered his bases by also registering the name “Over & Out Burgers.” In-N-Out won a lawsuit against another Australian copycat called “Down N’ Out” last year.
What? You didn’t notice that the imposter used an ampersand and the original uses a hyphenated “N”? That’s sort of like all the “Tomy’s” and “Big Tomy’s” trying to duplicate the chili burgers at Tommy’s or “Alberta’s” and “Adalberto’s” utilizing the same red script that Alberto’s Mexican food made famous. “All told the number of -berto’s across the United States is into the hundreds,” Gustavo Arellano writes in Taco U.S.A. “And represents millions of dollars in revenue.” That chain sent cease-and-desist letters that went unanswered.
The company is as insistent about protecting their intellectual property as they are about not changing the menu or selling out the family business. When Door Dash used the palm tree logo and advertised Double Doubles on their app, they got hit with a lawsuit. Puma released a white sneaker with red stripes and little red palm trees on the laces, and was quickly told to knock it off. (The burger giant has their own branded shoes, thank you very much)
In 1999, a burger fan in Texas went so far as to send his employees to California to measure and photograph the details of an authentic In-N-Out (including bringing back meat samples for lab analysis) with the intention of replicating his favorite restaurant in the Lone Star state. He was stopped and the first authentic In-N-Out arrived in Texas in 2011.
Fans located outside of the Southwest might head to the In-N-Out company store, which delivers internationally and offers an impressive array of merch for the Double Double deprived. Check out that french fry pool float, authentic crew apron, and milkshake-flavored lip balm. It’s almost like being there.
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