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Chicago tavern and Florida restaurant settle lawsuit (RELATED TO SNL SKIT)
Herald Tribune.com ^ | 12/13/2003 | AP

Posted on 12/13/2003 1:01:06 PM PST by Extremely Extreme Extremist

Chicago tavern and Florida restaurant chain settle lawsuit

The Associated Press

CHICAGO -- The Chicago tavern mocked and immortalized in the "cheezborger cheezborger" skit on "Saturday Night Live" in the 1970s has settled a lawsuit against a Florida burger chain it accused of stealing its trademark slogan.

Under the settlement filed Friday in U.S. District Court, the Billy Goat tavern agreed to drop its trademark infringement lawsuit against Cheeburger Cheeburger Restaurants Inc., which must not open any restaurants within a 125-mile radius of downtown Chicago.

Bill Goat attorney Raymond P. Niro said there would be one exception to that rule.

He said Billy Goat owner Sam Sianis would allow one restaurant of the Fort Myers, Fla.-based chain to open in suburban Glenview, but only if it is known as "Cheeburger" and uses that name in conjunction with the chain's slogan, "Big is Better."

That means franchise owner Jason Malartsik, 26, must change a sign in front of the restaurant before its scheduled opening Wednesday. Malartsik also must get rid of any double usage of the word "cheeburger" on his menus and employee uniforms.

The agreement awaits court approval.

Cheeburger Cheeburger has 32 family-style restaurants, mostly in the South and the East.

The skit on "Saturday Night Live" led to the sales of thousands of shirts and hats echoing the "cheezborger, cheezborger" bark that John Belushi used in skits to stop would-be customers from ordering anything but a burger.

Cheeburger Cheeburger has operated under its name since the mid-1980s, and the chain's attorney John Cyril Malloy III said the chain owns two federal trademarks for the name.


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: cheeseburger; johnbelushi; snl
I used to love those SNL skits with John Belushi!!
1 posted on 12/13/2003 1:01:07 PM PST by Extremely Extreme Extremist
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To: Extremely Extreme Extremist
Now if the Cubs could do something about the curse of the Billy Goat.

Wrigley field opening day 12 APR 04

2 posted on 12/13/2003 1:12:58 PM PST by dts32041 ("Taxes are not levied for the benefit of the taxed" RAH)
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To: Extremely Extreme Extremist
Killer Bees and Samauri Protologist!
3 posted on 12/13/2003 1:16:34 PM PST by chaosagent
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To: Extremely Extreme Extremist
I used to love those SNL skits with John Belushi!!

Same here. My favorite was an exchange between Jane Curtain and the waiter:

Jane: "I'll have a hamburger..."

Waiter: "No hamburger. Cheeburger."

Jane: "But I don't want cheese on it, just a hamburger."

Waiter: "No hamburger. Cheeburger."

Jane: "Okay, cheeseburger. And I'd like some iced tea."

Waiter: "No tea. Pepsi."

Jane: "You don't have iced tea?"

Waiter: "No tea. Pepsi."

Jane: "Then I'll just have water."

Waiter: "Okay, tea."

4 posted on 12/13/2003 1:20:32 PM PST by Semper911 (For some people, bread and circus are not enough. Hence, FreeRepublic.com)
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To: Extremely Extreme Extremist
Scratchin my head....

Cheeburger Cheeburger has trademarks
Billy Goats doesn't

and Billy Goats wins ?
5 posted on 12/13/2003 1:27:46 PM PST by stylin19a (is it vietnam yet ?)
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To: stylin19a
"...and Billy Goats wins ?

And I'm glad they did. SNL didn't need to make anything up for that skit. It's exactly they way the Billy Goat is and has been for a long time. It's a great place. If you are ever in Chicago, you have to go there for lunch. It's an experience. And the Cheese Burgers are pertty damn good to.

6 posted on 12/13/2003 1:34:10 PM PST by Ditto ( No trees were killed in sending this message, but billions of electrons were inconvenienced.)
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To: Extremely Extreme Extremist; Semper911
No fries....chips! chips!
7 posted on 12/13/2003 1:37:51 PM PST by dixiechick2000 (President Bush is a mensch in cowboy boots.)
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To: dts32041
The curse has been reversed... Next year (2004) the Cubs are winning it all. You heard it here first.
8 posted on 12/13/2003 1:38:34 PM PST by ReleaseTheHounds
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To: dixiechick2000
No fries....chips! chips!

I think it was more like...

"No fries. Cheeps."

LOL

9 posted on 12/13/2003 2:30:54 PM PST by Semper911 (For some people, bread and circus are not enough. Hence, FreeRepublic.com)
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To: stylin19a
Cheeburger Cheeburger has trademarks Billy Goats doesn't and Billy Goats wins ?

I've been curious about that: if someone does business using a particular name, slogan, or other mark and doesn't register a trademark but can show that they've been using the name, slogan, or other mark for longer than someone who registers it or someone similar, what are the legal implications? In the case of patents, prior art can invalidate a patent completely, but in the case of that sort of thing?

As a related example, there's a company whose catalog included hats with various color stripes, but the one pattern that was conspicuously absent was red and white horizontal stripes. Suppose that before Dr. Seuss wrote his famous book about a cat, the company had in fact sold hats with red and white horizontal stripes. Not as being particularly distinct from hats with any other pattern, but had sold them nonetheless. If it could prove that such sales predated Dr. Seuss's book, would it retain the right to sell such hats provided that it avoided any reference to the Cat or other such trademarks?

10 posted on 12/13/2003 2:31:52 PM PST by supercat (Why is it that the more "gun safety" laws are passed, the less safe my guns seem?)
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To: Ditto
If you are ever in Chicago, you have to go there for lunch. It's an experience. And the Cheese Burgers are pertty damn good to.

Did just that in 2000, was there during the "Taste of Chicago". My kids say that was one of the best vacations we have taken. I second your recommendation.

11 posted on 12/13/2003 2:39:47 PM PST by T-Bird45
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To: T-Bird45
In the 70's and 80's I attended (and conducted) quite a bit of training at the IBM facility, very close to the Billy Goat. During the day there were many places to eat. But these classes were at all hours, and after 8 PM the BG was the only real choice in walking distance. No variety, but always good, if you could handle it.
12 posted on 12/13/2003 2:58:09 PM PST by MainFrame65
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To: supercat
Cheeburger Cheeburger has trademarks Billy Goats doesn't and Billy Goats wins ?

I've been curious about that: if someone does business using a particular name, slogan, or other mark and doesn't register a trademark but can show that they've been using the name, slogan, or other mark for longer than someone who registers it or someone similar, what are the legal implications?


Someone that uses a trademark without registering aquires common law trademark rights in the geographic area where they use it. Because they never registered their mark, BG's rights are limited to the 125 mile radius region. But because the other company registered the mark, they get priority in the entire rest of the nation.

A sensible result.



In the case of patents, prior art can invalidate a patent completely, but in the case of that sort of thing?

As a related example, there's a company whose catalog included hats with various color stripes, but the one pattern that was conspicuously absent was red and white horizontal stripes. Suppose that before Dr. Seuss wrote his famous book about a cat, the company had in fact sold hats with red and white horizontal stripes. Not as being particularly distinct from hats with any other pattern, but had sold them nonetheless. If it could prove that such sales predated Dr. Seuss's book, would it retain the right to sell such hats provided that it avoided any reference to the Cat or other such trademarks?
13 posted on 12/13/2003 3:49:02 PM PST by Atlas Sneezed (Police officials view armed citizens like teachers union bosses view homeschoolers.)
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To: Extremely Extreme Extremist
Cheeburger Cheeburger has some awsome fries and HUGE burgers!
14 posted on 12/13/2003 4:31:40 PM PST by JOE6PAK ("The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits." - Albert Einstein)
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To: Semper911
LOL! I know. I was going to spell it "cheeps", but wanted to make sure I was understood. ;o)

Do you remember "Let's Kill Gary Gilmore for Christmas", or the "Attack of the Killer Christmas Trees"? Then, there's Todd's noogies.

SNL was at it's most memorable, back then.
15 posted on 12/13/2003 4:32:29 PM PST by dixiechick2000 (President Bush is a mensch in cowboy boots.)
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To: Ditto
born & raised in chicago...now live 39 miles west of the loop and I've never been to Billy Goat Tavern or any of the other Billy Goats

I still think the Florida chain could have/should have won...but they would've taken a terrible beating publicity-wise
16 posted on 12/13/2003 10:54:04 PM PST by stylin19a (is it vietnam yet ?)
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