Peter Luger ends IP beef

BVWireIssue #179-2
August 9, 2017

For those of us who have been to Peter Luger, the famed New York City steakhouse that opened in 1887, we know that no other place compares to it. This past May, Luger served up a trademark infringement lawsuit against the owner of the Carl von Luger Steak & Seafood restaurant in Scranton, Penn., claiming diners would confuse the two eateries. The owner of the Scranton place named the restaurant for his father, who was a nephew of Peter Luger. The two restaurants are not affiliated.

Off the table: Luger has now voluntarily dismissed the case, according to a report from Reuters. Details were not revealed, but it could be that the alleged confusion could not be substantiated. One way to show confusion is through consumer surveys, and we’d bet that the survey would find that nobody could confuse any other steakhouse with the real Peter Luger.

The use of surveys is not typically part of the damages expert’s area of specialty, so it’s left up to the survey expert. However, the damages expert should be involved up to the point where the survey is ready to be piloted or pretested. The survey expert will consult with both the damages expert and technical subject expert to make sure that the survey is properly constructed in a way that produces valid results.

For more information on the damages expert’s role in surveys, see “How to Help Ensure a Valid Survey for a Damages Analysis” in the September 2016 issue of Business Valuation Update. If you’re a subscriber, it’s part of a 20-year archive of practical articles (if you’re not a subscriber, you can acquire it as a single article here).

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