Elizabeth M. Sbardellati

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When is an Original Tommy’s burger not an original? When it’s one of these 67 look-alikes

October 24, 2019Media Mention
Los Angeles Times

Tomy’s Hamburgers. Tom’s Number 5 Chiliburgers. Tam’s Burgers. Tommy’s Famous Drive-Thru. Thomas Hamburgers. Tom’s #1 World Famous Chiliburgers. Tomboy’s Famous Chili Hamburgers. Tom’s Jr. Famous Chili Burgers. Tom’s Original Super Burger. Tommy’s Charbroiled Hamburgers. Tommy’s Burgers.

All of them are Los Angeles area fast-food spots that sell chili burgers. And none of them is Original Tommy’s World Famous Hamburgers.

Sbardellati, who reviewed the United States Patent and Trademark Office records at The Times’ request, said the existence of the Tommie’s federal trademark led Tommy’s to be denied one of its own when it applied twice in 2003.

Regardless, in any legal action against a similarly-named burger restaurant, Tommy’s would likely have to prove the willfulness of the alleged infringement in order to succeed.