Buc-ee’s scored a sweeping victory in Texas federal court last month when a judge found rival rest stop chain Choke Canyon guilty of 4 wrongs: trademark infringement, dilution, unfair competition, and unjust enrichment. But the battle might not be over: “Choke Canyon is expected to appeal,” reports Law360, “and Texas intellectual property experts say the store has a strong case that it was wrongly barred at trial from presenting key defense evidence.”
Among the facts unheard during the 4-day trial: findings from an expert Choke Canyon commissioned to ask 300 people what they thought of the logos’ similarity. 99 percent of them “said there was no likelihood of confusion,” between the two.
Then there are the images that went unseen during the jury’s deliberation. Within that 6-hour period, jurors’ first question to Judge Keith P. Ellison was whether they should compare the set of logos pictured above — which includes the brands’ names — or picture-only versions, like the ones shown below:
Ellison ruled that the nameless pair was what that the jury should use in determining a verdict.
And see that tiny 2-letter mark under the gator’s hand? It too was held out of consideration by a pretrial ruling that limited Choke Canyon from mentioning the federal trademark registration it has for the reptile’s likeness.
Buc-ee’s is now seeking an injunction to bar Choke Canyon from using the alligator logo. Last Monday, Choke Canyon proposed switching over to a black-and-white version of its existing design, but Buc-ee’s opposed that request, arguing that the competitor shouldn’t be allowed to use any variant of its current mascot.
- Buc-ee’s TM Win Could Draw Fire Over Unheard Evidence [Law360 ($)]
- Buc-ee’s wins federal court trademark fight against competitor Choke Canyon [Houston Chronicle]
- Previously on Swamplot: Buc-ee’s vs. Choke Canyon: Battle of the Roadside Mascots; That’s Not a Buc-ee’s Going Up on Hwy. 6 at Westpark — It’s a Bucky’s; The Longest Car Wash in the World, Just Off the Katy Freeway; Buc-ee’s Putting Itself Above Baytown