What’s In a Name: Viacom Sues Houston Firm for Calling Its Restaurants ‘The Krusty Krab’

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Viacom claims infringement on its rights to the ‘Spongebob Squarepants’ franchise
Krusty Krab

Flickr / spongeb65 /CC BY 4.0

Restaurant owners only intend on using the restaurant name and not any of the characters from the show.

One Houston firm’s dreams of opening two of its very own Krusty Krab restaurants is in jeopardy, thanks to a lawsuit filed by global mass media giant Viacom, according to Houston Press. The dispute is over IJR Capital Investments’ right to name two restaurants, which have been yet to be built, ‘The Krusty Krab.’

Viacom, which owns the rights to the Spongebob Squarepants franchise, asserts multiple trademark violations and “unfair competition” in the lawsuit, reports Hollywood Reporter. The complaint states, “Defendant’s use of the Infringing Mark — which is identical in appearance and sound to the Viacom Trademark — creates a high likelihood of confusion as to the source of the Infringing Mark and Defendant’s corresponding services.”

Javier Ramos of IJR Capital Investments says Viacom waited too long to file its lawsuit and that IJR has already been awarded trademark rights to using the name for its restaurant chain by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Furthermore, Ramos says there is no intention to use any of the characters in the Spongebob Squarepants franchise, but only the restaurant name. 

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