Summarized by Kent Larsen
Jazz owner Miller sued over Restaurant
(Restaurant Claims Copycat of Theme)
Excite News (AP) 5Jul00 B2
DENVER, COLORADO -- LDS Church member Larry Miller, who owns the Utah
Jazz NBA franchise as well as several Salt Lake City auto dealerships
and other developments, is being sued over his new restaurant, "The
Mayan." A Lakewood, Colorado restaurant, "Casa Bonita" filed a
lawsuit Friday against Miller claiming that he copied thier
restaurant when he created "The Mayan."
The lawsuit was filed in federal court in Colorado alleging that
Miller violated the restaurant's intellectual property rights and
engaged in unfair competition. It seesk an injunction requiring the
Mayan to close or remodel.
According to the lawsuit, Miller began visiting "Casa Bonita" in
1996, returning several times and even asking to see the restaurant's
books before he created and opened the Mayan this past March 8th. The
lawsuit also says that the two restaurants have similar features,
ordering systems and even menus. Both restaurants feature waterfalls
and cliff divers, as well as mechanical talking birds and even
storms, complete with thunder and lightening.
"If Miller can take how we have identified ourselves and use it, then
tourists will be confused and the distinctiveness of our
identification will be blurred. That is what trademark law is all
about," said Thomas Kirby, the Washington DC lawyer representing Casa
Bonita. Miller was not available for comment.