Egg on the Face for Eggomania
September 14, 2015 - In retrospect, Jersey City Indian restaurant Eggomania should have stayed under the radar and not bothered to try to register a trademark.
But hindsight is always 20/20.
Owned by an Indian-American startup Anubhav, Eggomania operates an egg-focused restaurant at 14 Liberty Avenue in Jersey City and plans to expand to 1546 Oak Tree Road in Edison soon.
Kellogg OppositionOnce Eggomania filed an application with the US Patent and Trademark Office in September 2014 for the mark "eggomania" the filing went through the usual scrutiny by the agency's attorneys.
In January 2015, the USPTO attorneys considered "eggomania" entitled to registration and published a notice of opposition allowing potentially aggrieved parties to oppose the proposed registration.
When the USPTO published the notice of opposition, the multi-billion dollar cereals and breakfast food giant Kellogg came swinging and opposed Eggomania's registration arguing that the proposed trademark "eggomania" was similar to its "EGGO," "EGGO DRIZZLERS," "EGGO BITES," and "L 'EGGO MY EGGO" trademarks and likely to cause confusion in people's minds.
Kellogg has owned the "EGGO" mark since 1960 in certain classes (frozen waffles, table syrups).
The cereals giant argued in its opposition filing dt May 27, 2015 that approval of the "eggomania" mark would cause "confusion in trade resulting in irreparable damage and injury to Kellogg."
I doubt many people would have confused a small Indian restaurant in Jersey City or Iselin called Eggomania with the "EGGO" products from the multi-billion dollar corporation Kellogg. But a wise man once told me, "When money talks, bullshit walks." :)
White FlagConfronted with Kellogg's opposition, Anubhav likely saw the writing on the wall (risks and expenses of going up against a multi-billion dollar corporation, potential lawsuits etc) and waved the white flag of surrender by abandoning its trademark application.
Once Anubhav filed an abandonment of its application with the USPTO on June 24, 2015, it was effectively denied the trademark registration under Trademark Rule 2.135.
There has been more fallout lately that's likely triggered by Eggomania/Anubhav's trademark application issues and Kellogg's opposition.
What's in a Name?In a recent development, Eggomania changed its business name to Eggmania, changed its web site URL from www.eggomanianj.com to www.eggmaniaus.com and made changes to its Facebook page as well.
Were the name, URL and Facebook page changes an outcome of Eggomania/Anubhav's trademark misadventure?
On its Facebook page, Eggomania announced September 9: "Bringing the Maniacs closer to eggs, OH! 😱, we are dropping the "O", it's just EggMania now." No mention was made in the Facebook post of the trademark registration defeat at the USPTO or Kellogg's opposition.
Indians are great believers in certain names bringing good luck and fortune, and others portending failure or even terrible disaster.
It remains to be seen if the new name Eggmania will be a harbinger of good fortune or a fatal ill-omen to Anubhav as it expands to Oak Tree Road (the graveyard for so many failed Indian restaurants).