September 15, 2012 15:34
Frank Sinatra's estate successful in lawsuit against hot dog business
United States Trademark's Office rejects series of baffling claims from fast food outfit Franks Anatra
The estate of legendary crooner Frank Sinatra have triumphed in a lawsuit against hot dog business Franks Anatra after successfully arguing that their name violated trademark regulations.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the United States Trademark's Office rejected a series of baffling claims from the fast food company's representative Bill Loizon, in which he tried to argue that the name hadn't been inspired by the deceased singer.
Loizon denied Frank Sinatra LLC's asserion that the name suggested a connection with Ol' Blue Eyes, and initially suggested instead that he had chosen it because Franks means "frankfurters, hot dogs and other similar food items", while Anatra means "duck" or "drake" in Italian.
The Trademark Office rejected his claim, however, stating: "There is nothing inherent in applicant’s mark or in his marketing to lead consumers to translate the word 'Anatra' to duck. Furthermore, we do not understand how applicant’s mark engenders the commercial impression relating to anything other than a play on the Frank Sinatra name."
An undettered Loizon then attempted to argue that the name had been inspired by the fictional country the People's Republic Of Anatra – and in addition to creating a flag for the country and placing it on his truck, he also claimed that its native residents were "all about the hot dogs".
However, his argument was also rejected by the Trademark Office, who simply ruled: "Suffice it to say, we find applicant’s explanation for choosing the mark Franks Anatra to be obscure and find it unlikely that consumers will understand it."
His final claim – that Sinatra was not a famous enough figure for customers to make a connection between his business and the singer – was also rejected. "Frank Sinatra is an iconic American cultural figure whose fame and reputation easily satisfy this element of the test for a false suggestion of a connection," said the Trademark Office.
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