Waiter.com sues GoWaiter.com for trademark infringement
Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012
Does GoWaiter.com infringe Waiter.com’s mark?
Here’s an interesting lawsuit that shows the challenges of building a business on a a descriptive (aka ‘generic’) domain name.
Waiter.com, a food delivery web site started in 1995, has sued GoWaiter.com, a similar service apparently started in 2010.
Waiter.com has a trademark for “Waiter.com”, which it bases its complaint on.
The plaintiff might have a case here (pdf).
If the plaintiff’s name was FoodDelivery.com, and someone created GoFoodDelivery.com, then it would be a hard case. Food delivery merely describes the service.
But does “Waiter.com” describe the service of food delivery? Maybe at a restaurant. But if I heard there was a web site called Waiter.com, I’d probably think it was a resource site or job board for waiters.
One reason Waiter.com is clearly miffed: if you search Google for Waiter.com, its competitor comes up #2.
GoWaiter.com, it should be noted, has federal trademark registrations for GoWaiter and GoWaiter.com.