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  • In-N-Out Sues Grab-N-Go

    1. BY - Aug 18, 2011
    2. Policy & Law
    3. 15 Comments

    “They’re not from McDonalds, are they?”

    In-N-out logoThis trademark lawsuit doesn’t involve a domain name but is interesting nonetheless.

    Iconic hamburger chain In-N-Out Burgers has sued Maryland burger joint Grab-N-Go Burgers for trademark infringement.

    It’s not the name by itself that disturbs In-N-Out. It’s more like McDowell’s‎ instead of McDonald’s in Coming to America (the quote above).

    In-N-Out thinks Grab-N-Go has stolen just about everything from its popular concept. It says not only are the names similar, but the logos have the same colors, the look and feel of the stores are similar with white tile walls with a red stripe, and even the menu has the same style.

    The burger chain says Grab-N-Go has even ripped off its off-menu “Animal Style” burger and called it a “Wild Style” Burger.

    Here’s the exhibit In-N-Out filed with the court. What do you think?

15 Comments
  • John Berryhill says:

    August 18, 2011 at 3:47 pm

    Personally, I’ve always wanted to know, as between In-N-Out and McDonalds, which one was first using a red and yellow motif, with an ascendant yellow shape above the red part.

    I’d never seen an In-N-Out until a few years ago, and my first thought was they were ripping off McDonalds, although I now understand there is a mix of priority issues between them.

    One can’t make these sorts of comparisons of “this to that” in a vacuum though. What matters is the relevant marketplace, so you really have to look at “burger joints” as a class to determine whether – in that context – the two things you are trying to compare are or not confusing.

  • I think it would be a fair assesment that Grab-N-Go has modeled their business logo after them but as John has stated above, is In-N-Out first in line to start with?

    Personally I had to scroll up to even recall how to type In-N-Out because we dont have them here so wether I would confuse Grab with In..it is plausable a tourist may.

  • In-N-Out’s been doing this since back in the late 80s. A former In-N-Out employee decided to open a joint called EZ-Out (w/ drive-thru) and eventually got sued. Eventually he had to change it to Ez-Takeout if I recall correctly.

    Grab-N-Go also copies the Five Guys’ checkerboard / menu design so once In-N-Out is done with them, Five Guys’ got next.

  • I’m not an expert like John but I don’t think they are that close in appearance.

    Moreover, In-n-out has 265 locations texas, utah, calif. nv.

    I believe Grab-n-go is a one store location near Wilmington, Delaware. They are 2,000 miles apart.

    If anyone wants to cover John Berryhill’s expenses, he could drive there in 20 minutes and get a closer observation and hamburger & shake. :)

  • So the checkerboard pattern is five guys material first?

    We are old enough to know diners used such patterns decades ago….like John said, whos doin who.

  • John Berryhill says:

    August 19, 2011 at 9:44 am

    “Of course if they started printing references to bible verses, then that would be pretty obvious…”

    I have a hard time figuring that In-N-Out practice.

    My guess is that they are hard-core Bible haters who get a kick out of printing those references on things which are intended to be thrown into the trash.

    It must be their way of saying “this is trash”.

  • ^That’s certainly one way of not infringing upon McDonald’s age-old version of “Please put litter in its place.”

  • FarmerJohn says:

    August 19, 2011 at 8:32 pm

    Interestingly, the colors yellow and red are supposed to trigger the hunger impulse. Same colors used for Wendy’s and Burger King.

  • @Josh You are correct, it’s likely Five Guys wouldn’t even bother. Just thought it was amusing when I first saw Exhibit D, page 4, wherever they found their inspiration for the menu resulted in a design similar to Five Guys’ menu (as googled/not linked here) versus the In-N-Out menu (no checkerboard).

  • John Berryhill says:

    August 19, 2011 at 9:44 pm

    “If anyone wants to cover John Berryhill’s expenses, he could drive there in 20 minutes”

    I live in Wilmington. Always have.

  • John,
    Grab n go is in Aberdeen, Maryland.

  • John Berryhill says:

    August 20, 2011 at 12:48 am

    Oh boy… If you go past Elkton, you have set your watch back 40 years. Never mind, they’ve even got Bible verses printed on the condoms over there. And if you’ve seen what’s strolling alongside route 40, you’d know why.

  • John Berryhill says:

    August 20, 2011 at 12:55 am

    In Aberdeen, they should call it “Grab-N-GTFO”

  • Perhaps In and Out should read the religious statements printed on the bottom of their drink cups and find a quote that justifies this hypocritical, and petty action.
    5 Guys is way better than In and Out anyway.

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