In-N-Out Sues SF Startup DoorDash for Delivering Its Burgers – And Fries – Without Permission

A Double Double and Animal-Style fries delivered to your doorstep?

San Francisco delivery startup Doordash has been doing just that much to the delight of In-N-Out fans, but not In-N-Out itself.

The Irvine, California-based burger chain — which boasts a cult-like following — filed a lawsuit against DoorDash last week in order to try and stop it from delivering its food,

"DoorDash is using our food and trademarks in a way that implies we have some kind of partnership or agreement with them, when that is not the case," In-N-Out general counsel Arnie Wensinger said. "We have asked DoorDash several times to stop using our trademarks and to stop selling our food. Unfortunately, they have continued to prominently use our trademarks and serve our food to customers who believe that we are responsible for their delivery. Prior to filing the lawsuit, we tried contacting them several more times but they never responded to our phone calls or letters."

In the complaint filed Nov. 6, In-N-Out Burger is seeking a permanent injunction against DoorDash, accusing it of copyright infringement and unfair competition.

“Despite the fact that [DoorDash] is in no way affiliated with [In-N-Out], [DoorDash] has advertised, and continues to advertise, that it delivers food from [In-N-Out]’s restaurants,” as well as use an “imitation logo” on its promotional materials, In-N-Out’s lawsuit claims.

Citing its penchant for fresh food and other high standards of quality, In-N-Out says in its lawsuit that the company is worried about the quality of food DoorDash is delivering. “The quality of services offered by [DoorDash] does not at all comport with the standards that consumers expect from [In-N-Out’s] goods and services,” the lawsuit says.

DoorDash responded to the lawsuit via a statement: "DoorDash uses its innovative logistics technology to deliver the very best food and products in neighborhoods across the country. While we have various relationships with different merchants, we are proud to help people get their favorite food delivered directly to their door."

According to the lawsuit, In-N-Out is concerned about DoorDash’s delivery time of its food, the temperature at which goods are kept during the delivery and DoorDash’s food handling and safety practices.

Founded in a Stanford dorm room in 2013, DoorDash recently raised $40 million in Series B funding and like other new delivery services, delivers millions of meals with the help of a fleet of drivers and bicyclists. The company — which has a reported valuation of nearly $600 million — got into trouble with some New York restaurants for inflating menu prices.

The lawsuit, first reported by TMZ, says that DoorDash stopped delivering In-N-Out products after receiving a letter from them in May, but broke its promise in June.

In-N-Out’s lawyer contacted DoorDash several times since then asking them to discontinue delivering In-N-Out products, but to no avail, the lawsuit said.

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