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Posted 24 Feb 2001   For week ended July 09, 2000
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Sent on Mormon-News: 08Jul00

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.


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