Industry News | December 27, 2004

Qdoba Sues Moe's Southwest Grill

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Fast-casual eatery Qdoba, owned by Jack in the Box Inc., filed suit against Moe’s Southwest Grill December 13.

According to the suit, “Moe’s use of the slogan ‘Buck Naked’ to sell its tortilla-less burritos is confusingly similar to Qdoba’s Naked Burrito trademark.” The suit also claims the use of Qdoba’s trademarked “Naked Burrito” is now “irreparably injured” because [Qdoba] no longer can control the good will created by the slogan, reports the Denver Business Journal.

A Moe’s franchisee out of Denver, Marie Friedstein, argued to the Denver Business Journal that “naked” has become a generic term. “A naked burrito is just the ingredients of the burrito, without the tortilla…it’s not like we have the word ‘naked’ plastered on our menu,” she explains. “We suggest customers try their favorite burrito, just ‘buck naked.’”

Qdoba received recognition of the federal trademark in April 2004 after applying for it in 2002. Qdoba hopes to ban Moe’s from serving “Buck Naked” burritos in addition to receiving an unspecified monetary amount in damages and court costs.