Smashburger undeterred by In-N-Out's trademark lawsuit

Aug. 30, 2017

Although In-N-Out Burger has filed a lawsuit against Smashburger claiming that the chain's Triple Double Burger infringes on its trademarked "Double Double" burger, co-founder and CEO Tom Ryan isn't worried.

"Frankly, we are flattered by the attention In-N-Out has given our Smashburger Triple Double," he said in a company press release.

As its name reflects, Smashburger's Triple Double Burger, has two Smashburger patties and three layers of melted cheese. The lawsuit, filed Monday, claims that "Smashburger's use of the Triple Double and Smashburger Triple Double marks is likely to confuse and mislead the consuming public, and injure In-N-Out, by causing consumers to believe incorrectly that Smashburger's products originate from or are authorized by In-N-Out."

The suit went on to say In-N-Out has used its registered DOUBLE-DOUBLE trademark since 1963, in connection with hamburger sandwiches in interstate commerce.

"Since at least as early as 1966, In-N-Out has continuously used its registered TRIPLE TRIPLE trademark in connection with hamburger sandwiches in interstate commerce," it stated.

Smashburger's Ryan said his offering isn't infringing on the name, however.

"To date, Smashburger's Triple Double is posting double-digit traffic and sales increases for the 10-year-old Smashburger brand," he said. "The Triple Double burger is clearly popular with our customers and is not comparable to any In-N-Out menu offering. We invite all burger lovers to taste the Smashburger Triple Double and decide for themselves."

Smashburger, founded 10 years ago in Denver, has 370 corporate and franchise restaurants operating in 38 states and nine countries.

As of press time, In-N-Out could not be reached for comment.


Topics: Operations Management


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