Lake Effect Vs. Lake Effect – Buffalo Diner Suing Ice Cream Maker
It's a tale of two lake effects -- and trademarks.
University Heights' Lake Effect Diner is suing Lockport ice cream maker, Lake Effect Artisan Ice Cream over use of the term 'lake effect.'
WGRZ reports "The diner wants the ice cream shop to stop using the words "lake effect" and even wants profits from ice cream made under that name."
I know what you're thinking. Can a term like 'lake effect' be trademarked?
Turns out, it can.
Trademarking a phrase isn't a perfect science, and often becomes the decision of one trademark reviewer whether to grant a trademark or not.
Legalzoom explains that for a phrase to be trademarked, it needs to be used in commerce, or intended to use in commerce. As well, "when you file a trademark application, you must identify the types of goods or services that you want to use your trademark on."
And the two Lake Effects are likely clashing over that -- both businesses fall under food and beverage.
Lake Effect Ice Cream issued this statement on their Facebook page: