Viacom Gets “Krabby”

Spongebob Squarepants is arguably the most popular and successful cartoon show of the past decade. The cartoon has run for 9 seasons, has seen a film adaptation, and will be making its way to Broadway in the immediate future. It has been a financial success on so many levels; from toys and games, and even all the way to amusement parks. Spongebob has dominated the market in almost every aspect. Now it seems that Spongebob is ready to conquer the food industry as well…perhaps not just yet.

The ‘Krusty Krab’ is the infamous “burger joint” owned by the character Eugene H. Krabs (aka Mr. Krabs). SpongeBob is the esteemed fry cook (SpongeBob’s official title is “Vice Assistant General Manager in charge of certain things”), and this restaurant has appeared in 249 episodes. Viacom owns the rights to Spongebob Squarepants, and on Friday, the media conglomerate filed a lawsuit in Houston against IJR Capital Investments, said to be operating a restaurant called “The Krusty Krab”.

Viacom has capitalized on their properties in the past, by creating the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., after the release of their film Forest Gump. Viacom does not have immediate plans to open a ‘Krusty Krab” as they have done with Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. but they certainly aim to protect their property. This has led to a new lawsuit asserting multiple trademark violations and unfair competition, coming against this Texas company, who has tried to use the title. According to the complaint. The Texas company tried to register “Krusty Krab” at the U.S. Trademark Office.

“Defendant’s use of the Infringing Mark — which is identical in appearance and sound to the Viacom Trademark — creates a high likelihood of confusion as to the source of the Infringing Mark and Defendant’s corresponding services,” states the complaint. The Defendant has stated repeatedly that they will not back down, by stating they have not infringed upon any rights, and they refuse to cease use.

While the possibilities for a ‘Krusty Krab’ chain of restaurants is endless, we will leave it to the legal minds at Viacom to sort out this dispute out. Let’s hope they do soon so that everyone can enjoy a Krabby Patty.

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