Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Who's Entitled to Okarche Chicken Name? Battle Continues

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Who's Entitled to Okarche Chicken Name? Battle Continues

Article excerpt

Chicken fighting continues between two area eateries, each claiming a right to serve a popular local dish.

The crux of the dispute is "Okarche Fried Chicken," a trademark which Doc's Burgers Inc. claims it has exclusive right to use, despite Texas Ice House Restaurant's use of the term, "Okarche- Style Fried Chicken."

Doc's filed suit in the District Court of Oklahoma County in September against Texas Ice House Restaurant & Bar Inc. alleging trademark infringement, loss of revenues from efforts Doc's had expended in obtaining the trademark and losses of its "esteemed reputation and good will." Texas Ice House has countered with an answer filed Thursday, in which they say the phrase, "Okarche Fried Chicken," merely describes the food and is therefore an improper trademark. "In Oklahoma, under statute and common law, you're not entitled to trademark protection for merely descriptive or geographically descriptive phrases," said Michael Belanger, attorney for Texas Ice House. While Belanger says the trademark was issued improperly, he does not fault the secretary of state in giving Doc's the right to use the phrase. "The secretary of state basically accepts most trademarks that are offered," but Belanger adds that when a judicial determination has been made on an issue, the secretary then may remove the trademark. Texas Ice House further argues that Doc's isn't even in business now, so their case is moot. "It's hard to deem yourself in competition with someone when they're not in business," said Belanger. At the time of the filing, Doc's attorney, Patricia Parrish, said her client was in the process of relocating but had not decided on a new place of business. Doc's was previously located on NW 63rd Street just east of Western Avenue. Parrish also said that Doc's had asked Texas Ice House to quit using the trademark, but that the defendant's refusal led to the lawsuit. Doc's phone number currently has a taped message that says the business is temporarily closed, but that they will be relocating soon and they "hope to see you there." Events The University of Oklahoma College of Law is hosting its annual luncheon Nov. …

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