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IPcopy is pleased to welcome guest contributor Stacey C. Friends, Partner at Boston firm Ruberto Israel Weiner, who provides useful tips on trade mark protection for restaurant names and hospitality businesses in general, based on her extensive experience in advising individual restaurants as well as small, medium and large restaurant chains in the USA. The article is reproduced with the kind permission of the author. Keltie’s Manuela Macchi has added comments drawing a parallel with the UK and EU.
Retail, food and hospitality businesses often have more problematic trademark issues than other types of businesses due to their territorial nature. While software, consumer goods and many other businesses immediately function in interstate or international commerce, many restaurants, hotels, or retail stores start out doing business in one geographic location. Sometimes the business plan includes a strategy to expand or franchise, or perhaps the location of the business (e.g. a hotel in downtown Boston) naturally lends itself to national and international travelers and publicity.