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IAH Eatery Slapped With Trademark Infringement Lawsuit By New York Meatball Shop

The eateries’ names are apparently too similar

An overhead photograph of a plate of meatballs and rigatoni with red sauce. The Meatball Shop/Facebook

Magnolia Meatball Shop, an IAH eatery from Chef Chris Williams, has been sued by a New York City restaurant chain that claims the company stole its intellectual property after discussions of a collaboration never came to fruition.

Meatball Management LLC, which operates six Meatball Shop locations in New York, filed a trademark infringement lawsuit Friday against OTG Experience LLC, the umbrella company that operates more than 200 restaurants at 10 airports across the country, including George Bush Intercontinental Airport, Law360 reports. The suit claims that OTG opened the meatball-focused restaurant, led by Chef Christopher Williams, “despite repeated warnings that the name would infringe Meatball Shop’s registered trademarks.”

“OTG has taken the position that such registrations are invalid and that they intend to infringe such mark with the opening of at least one new restaurant,” the NY eatery told Law360. “Plaintiff has warned OTG that such acts will constitute willful trademark infringement and other violations of the Lanham Act and New York common law, but such warnings have been ignored.”

Prior to opening, OTG had reportedly been in talks with Daniel Holzman, one of the founders of The Meatball Shop, regarding the “possibility of a relationship or collaborative project,” the Meatball Shop said in its complaint. “No relationship or collaborative project materialized.” OTG has not issued a statement on the lawsuit.

A trial date has not been set for this case, but stay tuned for more details.