A burger battle was settled — for the moment — in court Friday when U.S. District Judge Ted Stewart issued a temporary restraining order against Chadders Restaurant in American Fork, ordering the food outlet to cease serving any product based on names protected by trademarks issued to In-N-Out Burgers, a California-based chain.

In-N-Out filed suit against Chadders in June, saying the restaurant was copying its competitor's menu, serving style, building layout and color scheme. In-N-Out has no outlets in Utah, but is located in 207 sites in California, Nevada and Arizona. Stewart's order did not address any of the disputed similarities other than the names of burger products.

In-N-Out claimed that a few customers had ordered and been served a Protein Style Burger, Animal Style Burger, 3 X 3 Burger, 4 X 4 Burger or Double Double Burger, although all of these names are protected by federally registered trademarks issued to the California chain. Servers filled the orders though none of those specific names are on the Chadders menu.

In a June hearing before Stewart, attorneys for In-N-Out said it appeared Chadders had blatantly tried to imitate elements of the California firm's marketing techniques because In-N-Out has a reputation for good food. Chadders' attorney Sterling Brennan denied any intentional copying and countered that In-N-Out was focusing on similarities while ignoring marketing factors that Chadders uses that are different.

Stewart noted in the temporary restraining order that Chadders already has made changes in its employee uniform colors, the design of menu boards and the coloring of other signs.

The court's temporary order is to expire in 10 days unless the parties stipulate to a continuance, the order says.


E-mail: tvanleer@desnews.com