Oakland Raiders Suing Hamburger Chain for Trademark Infringement

By Joseph Mandour on December 9, 2011

cheeseburger-thumb-200x150-31546 Orange County – The NFL’s Oakland Raiders have filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against Nation’s Giant Hamburgers, a Northern California hamburger chain.

According to the lawsuit, filed last week in a U.S. District Court in San Francisco, the Raiders allege that the hamburger chain is infringing on its “Raider Nation” trademark. Allegedly, Nation’s has been running an advertisement on a billboard near the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, where the Oakland Raiders play their home games. The burger chain’s billboard reads: “When Hunger Hits, Raid a Nation’s.” The advertisement is printed in silver and black, which happen to be the colors for the Raiders.

However clever the phrase may be, the Oakland Raiders are calling it “ambush advertising” and is accusing Nation’s of capitalizing on its fame and fan base without permission or having to pay for it. According to the Raiders’ complaint:

The “Raid a Nation’s” slogan is an obvious reference to the famous Raider
Nation mark that identifies the Raiders and their loyal fans. The advertisement
Is easily visible to thousands of game day fans, as well as countless others who
Drive by the complex every day.

Al Davis would be so proud, given his litigious background with the NFL.

In addition to using a phrase similar to the “Raider Nation” trademark along with the team’s colors, Nation’s actually altered its cartoon hamburger logo, by adorning it with an eye patch, similar to the eye patch worn by the Raiders’ logo character. Nonetheless, this made the Raiders all the more angry which they addressed in their lawsuit. “The unmistakable, overall message is that Nation’s and the Raiders have a marketing or sponsorship relationship of some kind when, in fact, the opposite is true,” the team said.

In their lawsuit, the Raiders are requesting that the judge ban Nation’s from using the “Raid a Nation’s” slogan. The team is reportedly seeking monetary damages for the infringement of its trademark, false advertising, and unfair competition.

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