Jinya Ramen Bar, a Tokyo-based noodle chain with locations across the country, is suing three Houston restaurants for copyright and trade dress infringement.
Ramen Fun and Mikoto in Houston, along with Atsumi in The Woodlands were named in the suit, filed this week in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas. The Southeast Texas Register reports that Jinya Ramen Bar accuses Ramen Fun, an independently-owned shop that opened at 3646 FM 1960 West earlier this year, of multiple infringements, including the style of uniforms worn by employees and bowls used at the restaurant.
Court documents show that Jinya Ramen Bar takes issue with Ramen Fun’s menu design, claiming that it includes “components copied directly from the Jinya Restaurants’ menu.” “Defendants did not only copy a recipe directly from the Jinya Restaurants,” reads the suit. “They actually transcribed the name of “Jinya sauce” when pirating the recipe and printing it in its own menu.” A photo exhibit attached to the suit demonstrates this.
Jinya also alleges that Mikoto, a noodle bar at 12155 Katy Freeway, and Atsumi in The Woodlands have an interior design that is “similar, if not identical” to that of Jinya’s restaurants. The chain says that the significant similarities between the three restaurants and Jinya has “tarnished and diluted the reputation of Jinya,” and is confusing potential customers.
In addition to monetary damages, Jinya Ramen Bar has asked a judge to direct the three restaurants to destroy any advertisements, products, displays, or other materials that infringe on its intellectual property.