Red Lobster, the Florida-based seafood chain known for its “endless shrimp” promotions and Cheddar Bay biscuits, is asking a Cajun restaurant called Red Crawfish to change its name and logo on the grounds that they are too similar to Red Lobster’s.
Chen Tsay, the owner of Red Crawfish in Lawrenceville, Georgia, has been hounded by Red Lobster for the last two years. . After Tsay went to register the Red Crawfish trademark, Red Lobster’s attorneys have sent a stack of letters asking the restaurant owner to change its name and logo, a cartoon crawfish.
The restaurant chain has even offered to pay for Tsay to make the requested changes and put up new signage.
“As a business that started as one location and grew, we understand this owner's passion, Red Lobster said in a statement to WSB-TV, an Atlanta television station. “And as a trademark owner, we have an obligation to protect our mark.”
Tsay, meanwhile, has staunchly resisted Red Lobster’s efforts to make the restaurateur provide a clearer distinction between Red Crawfish, which advertises “seafood and wings,” and Red Lobster, which offers “fresh fish, live lobster.”
Arguing in favor of Tsay, Red Crawfish customer Bill Strowder told the station, “I believe we shouldn’t be bullied by corporate people just because we don't have deep pockets. How can you compare the two? The food's not the same.”