Soooo.... This happened


#1

Last night I saw a friend on twitter post he was hanging out at “Hopjacks” and it was delicious.

I asked him where he was in Washington, as only WA locations are present on the Hopjacks website. Turns out he’s in Pensacola, and there’s only one Hopjacks there.

Then Hopjack’s tweeted me, after I experessed a little confusion, and assumed I only saw WA locations on the site because of my GeoIP.

Here’s how the convo went:

And… Now I don’t know how to feel about it. I’m afraid people might lose their jobs over this. That I might have caused a bunch of shitty stuff to happen to the employees at the Lynnwood Hopjacks. I know people who work there…

What do I do?


#2

You couldn’t know and it’s ok to be curious.

This could lead to the WA chain successfully defending their right to use the name once and for all.


#3

Yeah. And it’s not like they wouldn’t have found out sooner or later.


#4


#5

You’re telling me that the Pensacola, Florida location has never googled itself? I call bullshit on this, so don’t feel guilty.

Also, small business names are always popping up with similar names (talking about hair salons in particular). Jeesh, my hair place is named for a particular mass transit in London that shall remain nameless; although I’m sure it’s patented, trademarked, or whatever.


#6

Heh, seriously though, so do I. And I may be the one responsible for a legal battle and possibly losing hopjacks in my area. Which would be a shame, since tuey have a killer bleu cheese burger.


#7

Dayum.

Twenty years ago I knew three companies that used ‘Suntech’ in their name in the same area. Noone was confused.

I dunno, I dislike hardcore regional trademarks. I understand the rationale, but I don’t like them.


#8

Still fails the “idiot in a hurry” test for trademark.


#9

It’s not even clear to me that your message was what brought the trademark violation to their attention in the first place. They just said “the law is now involved,” not “we were unaware of this business until now, so we just filed a lawsuit today.”

In either case, not your fault.

Worst likely scenario, the one in your area has to change their name.


#10

Yeah, good point.


#11

This actually happened to a butchery in Portland and made the news, because it was the Olympic committee forcing them to change their name. I agree with you @Brainspore, except I think your worst case scenario is actually the most likely scenario.


#12

Happened to a business owned by a family I knew in high school too. Their restaurant got a C&D from a corporation with a similar name, but they didn’t have the resources to fight it in court so they just changed the name of their restaurant. Luckily for them it turned out that the new name ended up attracting more customers anyway.


#13

I just called my local HopJacks and let the manager know what happened. He wasn’t too concerned and said he’d relay it to the owners. So that’s a load off. Both places know about each other and I think what I’ve done in calling at best can help, and at worst is neutral/obnoxious.


#14

Jackhops

Hoppin’Jacks

in the South, we eat “hoppin’ john” on new Years Day, a black-eyed peas recipe. so this could actually open up a menu option.


#15

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