Trademark suit settled, Crabby Fries keeps name

By on August 8, 2012

A trademark infringement lawsuit filed by Philadelphia-based CPC Properties Inc. against a local restaurant, Crabby Fries, has been settled and the case dismissed, according to federal court documents.

Details are confidential, and neither the owner of Crabby Fries nor the eatery’s lawyer would comment on what, if any, settlement terms had been reached.

When asked what name the restaurant will operate under, the owner said “Crabby Fries.”

CPC Properties operates a chain of restaurants in Pennsylvania and neighboring states under the brand Chickie’s and Pete’s.

The chain has trademarked a menu item, “Crab Fries,” which are French fries with seafood spice.

Unlike patents, trademarks are not vetted as thoroughly when filed, which means ultimate determination of their validity is often settled in court.

CPC first notified Crabby Fries by mail in early 2011 and then proceeded to file a lawsuit in federal court later in the year when the local eatery resisted.

Trademark holders are advised to vigorously defend their brand by sending out legal notices and filing suits against any business they feel are infringing on their registration. Often, these notices and suits are broad-based and include words and phrases that appear to be only vaguely related to the trademark.

In Philadelphia media interviews, Chickie’s and Pete’s owner, Pete Ciarrocchi, not only laid claim to the phrase “Crab Fries” and numerous iterations, he also asserted in Phillymag.com that “he’s the inventor of the crab fry.”

CPC has taken action against numerous restaurants in and around Philadelphia, Maryland and North Carolina. Its actions have most often focused on menu items rather than restaurant names, as was the case locally.

CPC’s action against Crabby Fries caught the attention of Philadelphia newspapers, Hampton Roads television news reporters and spawned a “Save Crabby Fries” Facebook page, which has over 400 members, as well as a blog “Free the Crab Fries.”

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Comments

Janet

November 12, 2012 5:21 pm

Five Guys better watch out – they use Old Bay Seasoning, too!

sunsetwaves

November 8, 2012 3:06 pm

To tp,
The owner lived in Baltimore, MD for 15 Years. You have to cross the Mason Dixon line in Maryland to get to PA. The owner is not a “Damn Yankee”, you don’t even know her to call her that so keep your commentary to yourself.

tp

September 2, 2012 2:23 pm

To obxdad,
the owner of crabby fries is also a “damn yankee”, maybe it is you who needs a lesson.

Russ Lay

August 15, 2012 7:43 pm

I do want to add some major caution here for several reasons. First, as the article states, the judge did not “throw out” the case. It was dismissed, and most likely at the request of the plaintifs (i.e. Chickie & Pete’s) once settlement was reached. “Dismissed” is not the same as “thrown out”, and the term applies equally to cases dismissed by the judge or dismissed at the request or from a motion filed by either side.

As the judge did not enter an opinion, the safest assumption is the case was withdrawn by the parties involved, not the judge.

Second, in civil suits, the terms of settlements are almost always confidential in cases like this. No one should assume either side won or lost or had to pay money. No one knows or will ever know.

zappy

August 15, 2012 4:04 pm

Chickie & Pete’s didn’t win, it got thrown out of court because the judge thought they were *ssh*les and the suit was deemed frivolous.

It’s that simple.

So everyone that thinks Chickie and Pete’s owners were right in doing what they did – you’re *ssh*les too.

It’s that simple.

Sam Sabbatino

August 15, 2012 12:38 am

I live in the Philadelphia area and I detest the fact that Chickie’s and Pete’s is worrying about something like this. This guy os a multi-millionaire and he’s trying to put a small operatorwho is hundreds of miles away, out of business. Disgraceful. I won’t patronize his place ever again. The food sucks anyway.

ValerieJaye

August 14, 2012 9:29 pm

I agree with

@ Johnny Crab Fries” I agree OVERRATED!

Everytime I see or hear Pete’s name in the news, I just SMH…. knock it off Pete!!!!! you have a gazzillion dollars — find something worth fighting for and leave these people alone.

It was a settlement so the terms dont have to be released under FOI. Not really sure who “won”, just b/c crabby fries keeps its name doesnt mean it didnt have to pay to do so. I live in philly and can verify that C&P’s sucks, their old bay fries w/ cheese sauce are way overrated, and it shows what kind of owners it has to go after a place in the OB.

Chris

August 14, 2012 8:02 pm

Good to see Chickie and Pete’s won! He had a legal right to sue. Shame on you 400 spoiled brats who had to resort to stuffing the reviews for Chickie and Pete’s because your restaurant can’t follow simple laws.

WilliamPenn

August 14, 2012 7:51 pm

Just remember what Obama said in Roanoke. If Chickie’s and Pete’s and Crabby Fries built businesses, they didn’t build them — government built them. Comrade Obama and Occupy Wall Street can come and take them away anytime they want! All praise be to Dear Leader.

Linuxdood

August 14, 2012 6:15 pm

What a douche

JOHN

August 14, 2012 4:44 pm

Way to go pete!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Fat Head Carl

August 14, 2012 4:04 pm

Business is business. Pete trademarked it, the “Little Guy” infringed on it, they settled out of court.

If I had to guess, the “Little Guy” is paying Pete, so you bumkins shouldn’t kid yourself thinking the “Little Guy” won.

Peg B.

August 14, 2012 2:05 pm

I’m Philly born and raised, but I am glad “Crabby Fries” gets to keep the name! I even bet that “Crabby Fries” is better than Chickie’s & Pete’s!! Applauding you from up North!

Dumpster Diver

August 14, 2012 1:33 pm

http://www.jospices.com/jo_spice_retail_seafood_crab_seasonings_shrimp_fish.php

This is the exact spice on Chickie’s fries…enjoy Crab Seasoning #1.

Stickman in Philly

August 14, 2012 12:05 pm

Not sure the restaurant “won”. I’m sure they had to pay a lump sum or maybe even yearly fee. Pete may be a bit full of himself when he says he invented the crab fry but he’s certainly a good businessman.

CosRoc

August 14, 2012 11:59 am

Settled and dismissed …

Ulysses S. Grant

August 14, 2012 11:58 am

“Way to go Crabby Fries! It was a lot of fun teaching those damn Yankees a lesson.”

This is why we call you “Rednecks”. Now go back to your cotton pickin’, saying “What in tarnation”, wearing seersucker suits, and reminiscing about slave ownership.

Johnny Crab Fries

August 14, 2012 11:05 am

It was a settlement so the terms dont have to be released under FOI. Not really sure who “won”, just b/c crabby fries keeps its name doesnt mean it didnt have to pay to do so. I live in philly and can verify that C&P’s sucks, their old bay fries w/ cheese sauce are way overrated, and it shows what kind of owners it has to go after a place in the OB.

PS in KDH

August 10, 2012 6:46 am

Great news!

non-KDH folk

August 9, 2012 12:17 pm

Never been there, but I applaud their spunk and victory !

Maslin

August 9, 2012 11:41 am

Mr. Krabs would totally sue.

KDH Rezident Evil

August 9, 2012 10:05 am

Hurrah for the Little Guy!

fight club

August 8, 2012 11:40 pm

^^ The first rule of poll skewing is you don’t talk about poll skewing.

Sue

August 8, 2012 8:49 pm

Yay Crabby Fries! How about a Krabby Patty like sold at The Krusty Krab! Bet Spongebob and Eugene wouldn’t sue! They’re not like that.

obxdad

August 8, 2012 1:14 pm

I think we had over four hundred people on the facebook page… playing the merry pranksters to deflate Pete’s out sized ego… you’d be amazed what happens to a restaurant’s internet reviews and commentary when you get 400 motivated people having a bit of fun defending a local business.

Paul

August 8, 2012 12:05 pm

Hey, not fair…you fixed the typo so now my comment below looks like I really am confused. lol…

Anyway, I’m happy that the issue is settled – I just hope that the fight hasn’t put a tremendous financial strain on the proprietors. Small, independent establishments are the best IMO, but the margins in that world are pretty slim…

CPC Legal Team

August 8, 2012 10:28 am

Paul,

Please provide your wife’s full name and address. Then, in a few weeks expect a gentleman at your door with a official looking letter.

;-)

johnr

August 8, 2012 10:02 am

Good morning, Michael—–oops, I owe you a buck. What’s the account number? Goodbye—-awww, crap—

Maslin

August 8, 2012 9:58 am

Cheers for Crabby Fries and little guys everywhere!

Jackie Harris

August 8, 2012 9:15 am

If it was a lawsuit how can the details not be made available?? Under the FOI?? Is this a threat to National Security???

I love the crabby fries

August 8, 2012 9:13 am

So very happy that they settled and get to keep the name Crabby Fries! I hope that any other business that gets sued by C&P for something more than just a menu item looks at this and knows that there is hope for them too.

Paul

August 8, 2012 8:17 am

“…inventor of the crab fry” Give me a break. My MD-born wife has been putting Old Bay seasoning on her fries since childhood – just as I’m sure thousands and thousands have before her and since.

Sooooo…I’m a little confused: Will the name be Crabby Fries or Crabbie Fries? Or Crabbie Frys?

Sorry – couldn’t resist :p

Fifi

August 8, 2012 8:12 am

Cheers to the little guy!

obxdad

August 8, 2012 7:14 am

Way to go Crabby Fries! It was a lot of fun teaching those damn Yankees a lesson.

Michael O'Brien

August 8, 2012 5:29 am

I would like to inform everyone that i will be trademarking the following…
“Good Morning”
“Good Night”
“Hello” and
“Goodbye”…

for every use, I expect everyone to deposit a dollar in an account I will be setting up on line..

hmmm...

August 8, 2012 12:50 am

Bojanlges seasoning is basically old bay so how can they claim that they are the creator? Glad Crabbie Fries won, trademarking a french fry with old bay on it is ridiculous. Some tell the NJ guy the get the stick out his rear.

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