Taqueria hits London’s Sonora Fields with trademark authorized risk

One other London restaurant served exceptional taqueria Sonora with a stop and desist on the usage of the phrase “taqueria” in its identify and identification. Worldwide taqueriathe buying and selling identify of Taqueria, which operates two London eating places, in Notting Hill and Exmouth Market, alleges that Sonora’s use of the time period constitutes trademark infringement.

On September 6, Taqueria’s attorneys delivered a 20-page letter to the house owners of Sonora. The letter, seen by Eater London, outlined the technical particulars of the alleged Taqueria trademark infringement, along with any cases of alleged infringement. It additionally offered suggestions for decision, with a response deadline set for September 21.

In a September 12 name, Sonora house owners Michelle Salazar de la Rocha and Sam Napier informed Eater London they thought they may struggle the cost. They imagine that the generic nature of the time period “taqueria” implies that their use doesn’t essentially imply, as Taqueria claims, {that a} “shopper will think about companies that [Sonora is] provides beneath indicators containing TAQUERIA to be equipped by, in affiliation with, or beneath the authorization of [Taqueria].”

Taqueria is owned by Trent Alexander Ward and Daniele Benatoff, administrators of quite a few firms, based on public records. The primary web site, on Westbourne Grove in Notting Hill, opened in 2005; the Exmouth market suite in Clerkenwell open in 2021. Taqueria, the restaurant, grew out of a avenue meals stand, which additionally served as a retailer for the Mexican cookware and ingredient retailer Cool Chilli Co. This model nonetheless exists, however is now not affiliated with the restaurant.

In response to a request for touch upon the letter to Sonora, Ismael Munoz, Chief Working Officer of Taqueria, mentioned: “As with all commerce mark registrations within the UK, the provisions of the Commerce Mark Act grant the proprietor unique proper to the mark, and people rights are infringed when the mark is used within the UK by one other enterprise with out the proprietor’s consent.

“As such, the usage of TAQUERIA by Sonora Taqueria Ltd with out the consent of Worldwide Taqueria Ltd constitutes trademark infringement.”

A scan of a trademark infringement letter sent to Sonora by Taqueria Worldwide Ltd.

Worldwide Taqueria alleges that Sonora Taqueria’s use of the phrase taqueria constitutes trademark infringement.
Scan/Eater London

A scan of a legal letter detailing Taquria's alleged copyright infringement.

Particulars of the alleged copyright infringement.
Scan/Eater London

Munoz additionally mentioned that “the TAQUERIA model has been utilized by Taqueria Worldwide Ltd and its predecessors for a really profitable restaurant in London since 2005.

“Via this long-standing use, Worldwide Taqueria Ltd has developed vital model consciousness and popularity […] it’ll take all mandatory measures to keep up the distinctive character of its marks and to implement its rights towards infringement by different events.

Nevertheless it’s not so easy for the house owners of Sonora, who’ve themselves arrange their very own profitable meals enterprise in London, serving unmatched flour tortillas, barbacoa, carne con chile and adobada. over the previous three years.

“Principally the overall feeling we’re getting is that it is value combating for,” Napier mentioned. From the primary conversations with attorneys who contacted Sonora after the house owners posted on their Instagram account final week, they had been inspired to be taught a distinction, the place, in Napier’s phrases, “you probably have one thing protected by copyright, it should be non-descriptive and distinctive. And the usage of the phrase “taqueria” is descriptive and never distinctive.

“For [Taqueria] it is the identify of a enterprise, however to anybody else it is descriptive. It describes what what you are promoting does. And it is not distinctive, as a result of there will be many taquerias, simply as there will be many pizzerias. Taqueria copyrighted in 2004, when, says Napier, “I think about there have been only a few locations within the UK utilizing the phrase ‘taqueria’. However now there are a lot of.

Because of this if Sonora can show Taqueria’s rights to what’s, 18 years later, a much less obscure descriptor, or “generic time period”, then this can truly “file to invalidate another person’s copyright”. However step one shall be to beat the preliminary problem issued on behalf of Sonora.

Salazar, whose household runs the Pollo Feliz grilled hen chain in northern Mexico, mentioned: “It is so silly. And the response from the Mexicans was like, contempt. As a result of it is ridiculous. There is no such thing as a strategy to categorical…and I assume it additionally brings to thoughts the truth that everybody thinks there is no such thing as a good Mexican Mexican meals within the UK. ? That is one other impediment.

“It is also fairly telling,” Napier added, “I feel, why a lot meals sucks anyway, not simply Mexican meals, however typically, why it is so costly and so typically crappy. If you happen to make investments your cash and also you’re specializing in the authorized groups to sue, what does that should do with the meals? You already know, how does that result in a superb meal?”

Taqueria has a contentious kind: In 2020, it successfully opposed the trademark of Taco Ria, TACO RIA and TACO-RIA, an Essex-based restaurant model. The Listening to Officer in that case wrote: “it appears to me that it’s seemingly that the common shopper may confuse one mark with the opposite – confuse the marks immediately”.

“So far as it sounds, ideological is the unsuitable phrase,” mentioned a visibly exasperated Napier. “However that is so unsuitable, you already know?”

This authorized risk comes as Salazar and Napier shut down the road meals stand they operated in various disguises on the Netil market, Hackneysince February 2020 — ending a extremely successful but extremely difficult period of activitywhich was born out of the primary COVID-19 lockdown.

Whereas Salazar and Napier at the moment are actively in search of a everlasting residence for Sonora, the duo have additionally teamed up with JKS Eating places at Arcade Food Hall at Center Pointthe place mexa — a birria and mariscos concession — will open subsequent week, September 16.

Keep tuned for extra on this opening and the end result of Taqueria’s problem quickly.

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