By Jolene Ketzenberger
Well, this is certainly a David and Goliath story. Local food truck Little Eataly has been engaged in an ongoing legal battle with Eataly the Market. The market/shopping/restaurant establishments located in New York and Chicago, and owned in part by Mario Batali, have claimed that the Indy food truck is infringing on the Eataly trademark. EatDrinkIndy wishes Chea and Rob Carmack of Little Eataly good luck in their rebranding efforts — we know that Indy will continue to support them.
Here’s an excerpt from Little Eataly’s recent Facebook post:
“Last August, we were blindsided when we received a letter from the attorneys representing “Eataly the Market” based in New York city (co-owned by Chef Mario Batali) stating we were infringing on their trademark and we constituted unfair competition in the marketplace. They demanded we stop operations under our name immediately. We have operated under the common trademarked name “Little Eataly” since 2011 so we thought for sure there must have been some mistake. We hired an attorney who clarified we were not using Eataly’s trademark, rather playing off the idea of the “Little Italy” neighborhoods which are sprinkled throughout the country. As far as unfair competition in the marketplace? They are located in New York and Chicago. We operate a little purple truck in Indianapolis. There is simply no competition that exists. No matter, after a seven month long exchange where we offered to compromise, Eataly will not back down. They have now threatened to take our beloved purple truck, all of our assets and demand we turn over our domain www.littleeataly.com at no cost to them claiming we, get this, are cybersquatting.
“Here’s the deal. We have one of the top attorney firms in the city and a winnable case. However, they are bigger, and more importantly richer. We have offered them several solutions so that we can both coexist, we have even offered to change our name if they help us cover the costs, but they are not willing to budge. We grew Little Eataly out of our love for fresh, local food worth eating. We cook because we love to feed people and make them happy. We believe in the American dream and teach our kids that hard work, sweat and tears pay off in life. Sadly, money talks, so this time David falls to the wealthy Goliath.
“However, this David won’t stay down for long. We may have to change our name, but we will rebuild. That means rebuilding our audience on Facebook and Twitter, rebranding our truck, and once again proving to you, our hungry loyal fans, good food still tastes great, no matter what you call it!”