What to do if I owned a restaurant which recently closed due to a disagreement with the landlord and he has recently reopened it with the same name and using my recipes?

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What to do if I owned a restaurant which recently closed due to a disagreement with the landlord and he has recently reopened it with the same name and using my recipes?

How can he do this when I own the name and recipes? I had the restaurant for 4 years.

Asked on November 17, 2012 under Business Law, Michigan

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

He is very possibly violating your intellectual property--your trademark in the restaurant name and your copyright in the recipes. You should speak with an attorney--probably either a lawyer specializing in intellectual property, or one specializing in business litigation--about your options and potential recourse; you may be able to either stop him from doing this, or else seek monetary compensation.

Depending on the exact circumstances, it is possible that there may be other causes of action, such as tortious interference with economic advantage (if the landlord used improper means or pressure to shut you down, so he could reopen the business), so it's well worth consulting with an attorney.


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