Viacom sues SpongeBob SquarePants themed restro-bar


Palak Arora 04/10/21 #copyright #patent #trademark #infringement #intellectualproperty #IPR #IPRinfo #IPlaw #IPRrights #Trademarkclickcom #IP #entrepreneur #SpongeBobSquarepants #Viacom #RustyKrab #PatrickStar #Squidward #MrKrabs #SandyCheeks #MrsPuff #PearlKrabs #Nickelodeon

Viacom has sued a company a few days ago. It is alleged that this company runs a downtown Houston pop-up SpongeBob Square pants-themed bar and restaurant with the name ‘Rusty Krab’.

As per the news reports, the Rusty Krab was opened and innovation of owner Sam Chand in downtown Houston. Downtown Houston is the same space where a Harry Potter pop-up shop was opened a long time back. The bar offers SpongeBob-themed food and drinks, but however, the bar made a disclaimer to the general public which reads as: “Rusty Krab is not affiliated, associated, authorized, endorsed by, or in any way officially connected with Nickelodeon or the SpongeBob brand directly.” Instead, Chand described it as his own artistic adaptation and recreation of an amazing series that added value to everyone’s childhood.

However, Viacom has sued Rusty Krab over allegations of deliberate commitment of infringement. Those who are wondering why this Viacom is entering into the picture, Viacom owns the rights to every SpongeBob IP. The company seemed to claim that the drink menu uses the namesake of many SpongeBob famous properties such as:

  1. Pineapple Under the Sea,
  2. Bikini Bottom,
  3. Secret Formula, and
  4. I’m Ready

The abovementioned are some of the most loved and popular drinks out of all. Viacom further claimed that these names are licensed for the trademarks of a kids' show and it violates their policy when they are being used on alcoholic beverages.

Chand tried to explain to Viacom that he opened the pop-up bar with the sole intention to let people have fun and enjoy the space that he created using the popular kids show properties and he nowhere wanted to take unfair advantage of the goodwill of this famous show.

“The most important thing for me is for people to have fun here. They spend a lot of money to come through. We have people traveling from out of state just to experience this,” he says. “I want them to be satisfied with the photo ops, the exhibits, the interactive games, the food, and drinks — the whole enchilada.”

It is not that Viacom is only suing the Rusty Krab, but it’s also demanding the following:

  1. To hand over any profits the bar has made so far,
  2. To stop the pop-up shop from doing further business in the future.

Take a step back from those who were thinking of starting a business like above without asking any permission. It can cost you millions, so better drop the plan or proceed with it after seeking permission in a proper manner.

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