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Shell shock: Malden breakfast eatery sued over egg-based name

A California restaurant chain called the Broken Yolk Cafe is suing Robert's Broken Yolk of Malden in an attempt to make it change its name - and to pay for the "irreparable injury" the chain's reputation has suffered from the alleged name poaching.

The Broken Yolk Cafe, whose motto is a Trumpian "We've Got Huevos," claims the small Broadway eatery is scrambling consumers' perceptions and egging people on to think they're getting the authentic Broken Yolk experience in Malden when they're not. And never mind the nearest Broken Yolk Cafe outlet to Malden is in Arizona, because, as the chain explains in its complaint, filed this week in US District Court in Boston, "many of the restaurant’s customers at its locations are tourists who seek out and identify the restaurant’s services through BYC’s national advertising," and we all know how popular Malden is on the travel circuit these days.

Also, Robert's Broken Yolk is violating "the common law of California," the chain says, adding it initially offered to go over easy with the eatery and let it just change its name, but that Robert's really fried them by refusing to give up the name. Now the chain has scotched that offer and wants lots of money in damages, plus, of course, repayment for all the legal help it's had to shell out for.

Defendant’s acts and conduct alleged have caused damage and irreparable injury to BYC in an amount to be determined at trial. Said acts and conduct will result in further damage and irreparable injury to BYC if Defendant is not restrained by this Court from further violation of BYC’s rights, for which BYC has no remedy at law.

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PDF icon Complete Broken Yolk Cafe complaint169.53 KB

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Comments

Everything about this is so good I could have a second serving about how this was written.

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Best written Uhub article evah!

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Aren't there a few Broken Yolks here in MA already? I know of one on the Cape somewhere and one in Quincy, are they related to the Malden one?

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This http://www.brokenyoke.org/ only confuses the issue more.

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One of them will surely end up with egg on their face. Depends on which one has more skillet arguing in court.

But above all else, keep the home fries burning.

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Nothing sunny-side up about that post. This is sad though, welcome to sue happy America... Lets get some TORT reform done. This frivolous lawsuits do nothing.

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I think you meant frittatalous lawsuit?

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punitive damages, which are the principal incentive behind nonsense like this. If the plantiff prevails, issue a cease and desist order to address the inappropriate behavior and requrire the defendant to pay costs. That's all.

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If I can prove that their name does harm to my business, which is why you as the court are willing to reprimand them, then why wouldn't they be liable for those damages since I already warned them they were damaging me even if they didn't know it previously. They should also have taken appropriate actions ahead of time to be sure they weren't going to possibly damage me too.

That's how civil society works. You don't get to do whatever you want and then just stop doing it when the court steps in to tell you to stop officially...well, not unless you're a big bank, oil company, agri-pharma, financial speculator, or politician. But the rest of you have to take preventative measures from screwing up ahead of time or else.

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JUSTIFY the payout for those "punitive" damages, and provide an exact dollar amount of those damages (none of this "demand unspecified damages" BS). Too often, that "justification" is simply a jury deciding "let's sock them for as much as we can get because they can afford it and/or we want to send a message."

That's the basic problem with the current system, it's far too subjective. Not to mention the fact that supposedly trained and intelligent people are dumb enough in the first place to even consider an argument like a restaurant chain that is based in California and Arizona being irrepairably harmed by an independent restaurant in Massachusetts that has the same name.

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Is a pretty common term in relation to breakfast joints.

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It closed a few years ago. I don't know if it had the same ownership as the current Malden restaurant, but it should be cited as evidence that the name has been in use around here for a while.

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That's the first place I thought of. Was there for years.

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And that Broken Yolk took over the lease from "What's Cookin'", which I'm sure is a pretty popular restaurant name as well!

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All the King's horses and all the King's men.

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The poem never actually makes reference to Humpty Dumpty as an egg.

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<mind blown>

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Broken Yolk Cafe has only been around since 1979. If Robert's has been longer, then he might be able to counter-sue. Haha.

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If Robert's had the money/time, they could really fuck with BYC, Inc. by filing a Concurrent Use Registration and tying up their claims in court for multiple years.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concurrent_use_registration

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Imagine the puns if barber shops starting suing each other over names. Would the courts have time for anything else? Ridiculous.

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...should give a lot of leeway to common words, lhrases, and names.

Anyonr trying to ckaim trademark to "Joes Tavern", "Center Diner", or "Broken Yolk" or "The Booksmith" should have an extra high burdon to show actual damages.

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Sam Adams Brewery (corporate name: Boston Beer Company) long ago sued the brewpub Boston Beer Works over infringement and appealed the decision several times when they lost. The final verdict in 1994 (as I heard about it, never actually read the case) had the judge fairly ticked off and he stated point blank that you cannot trademark the name Boston or the word beer but only the specific combinations Boston Beer Company or Boston Beer Works and killed the suit dead. If you are ever in Boston Beer Works and they have the Victory Bock on tap that is the recipe that was designed in celebration of their legal victory in this case.

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The Boston Beer case is exactly what I meant.

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And never mind the nearest Broken Yolk Cafe outlet to Malden is in Arizona

http://www.brokenyolkfranchise.com/how-do-i-start

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. When you expand a little further east than Arizona we'll talk. Follow Krispy Kreme's lead and get your non-New England ass outta here

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A different article said they were opening in Florida soon. Still not New England and would still make a legitimate concurrent use claim even if Robert's wasn't open until after 1979. They only filed for trademark in 2011 which sounds like when they figured out they should go the franchise route (for a breakfast joint? What's their special sauce? There's nothing about their "brand" that brings value.

http://www.brokenyolkfranchise.com/what-do-i-get

If you need any of what they're "offering" their franchisees, then you have no business opening a restaurant in the first place! Locally, we have Craft Beer Cellar doing the same thing. Love those ladies and what they know and can do. But I never understood their attempt to franchise either. There's nothing they bring to the table that would make me pay them lots of money for a franchise name to open a "Craft Beer Cellar" in Ohio or wherever. I could open my own store, call it "A Few Brews" (or WHATEVER I wanted) and be in business. I mean more power to them and BYC, Inc. but I just don't see the value in it for the franchisee.

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Someone's already there with that name.

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I'm a little disappointed Adam couldn't work omelettes and quiche into this.

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I think their lawsuit is an 'eggxaggeration.'

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yolks in it.
Whole lotta yolks.
Lotta yolks.
YOLKS!!

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Reminds me of the California case of Mr. Donut vs Mister Donut....

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