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A Krusty Krab Restaurant Isn’t Happening in Houston, Rules U.S. Appellate Court

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a Houston restaurateur won’t be able to use the SpongeBob-inspired name

The Krusty Krab/Facebook

Rights to the Krusty Krab name will remain solely in the hands of Viacom, according to a new ruling from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

The U.S. appellate court upheld an earlier decision by a U.S. district court judge that barred local restaurant owner, Javier Ramos, from opening a seafood eatery with the SpongeBob SquarePants moniker in Kemah, like he’d planned. Ramos isn’t the only one to have picked up on the name — restaurants in Los Angeles, Georgia, and Jamaica have also made use of the moniker.

As previously reported, Ramos claimed to have come up with the name himself from “the crust that sticks to the top of crabs when they are put in a seafood boil.” However, before submitting the application for a trademark, he admitted to Googling the moniker and seeing that it was already associated with SpongeBob SquarePants, deciding that the cartoon star wasn’t “a big enough deal” to constitute any kind of trademark confusion.

Viacom obviously disagreed. The company said it was an attempt to “piggyback off the Krusty Krab’s well-established fame and reputation in order to make money.” After Ramos’ appeal was shot down, the mega media conglomerate wrote in a statement: “We are pleased with the decision to affirm the lower court’s ruling that Viacom’s rights in The Krusty Krab mark are strong and deserve protection from infringement.”