Superdawg Wins Battle of the Names

Judge rules New York eatery must change name

By Lora LeSage
|  Monday, Sep 21, 2009  |  Updated 9:41 AM CDT
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You would not want to mess with that dog.

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Superdog messed with the wrong hot dog stand. 

And now the New York eatery is going to have to change its name to Super Hot Dog.

That's because the iconic 60-year-old Superdawg on Milwaukee and Devon didn't appreciate the naming similarity, filed a trademark infringement lawsuit in federal court and won when a judge signed an order forcing the name change.

Turns out not only were the names familiar, but the stand in Brooklyn that opened earlier this year had its employees wear t-shirts with a hot dog cartoon flexing his muscles. Yea, it was pretty much exactly like the 12-foot one that rises above the Northwest Side stand. Photos of the t-shirts along with restaurant signs were submitted to the court.

"It is to a degree flattering, I guess, that someone chooses to emulate or pick up on our name," Superdawg founder Maurie Berman told the Sun-Times. "But we also feel it is an intrusion and comes under the heading of thievery."

No word on whether Berman will also defend his trademark against Super Hot Dog, an eatery in New York's Greenwich Village that opened this summer.

That hole-in-the-wall is wallpapered with "original" comic book art depicting a caped hot dog rescuing eaters from mundane fast food.

Next in Berman's sights -- another restaurant, this one on the west coast, that's also copying his super Superdawg name.

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