Call it a different kind of bar fight.
A Lincoln Park bar is suing a relatively new bar a few miles away in Logan Square it claims is trying to subvert business through an allegedly deceptive marketing process.
Crimson Lion Ltd., doing business as the Red Lion Pub, filed a trademark infringement lawsuit Nov. 26 in Chicago's federal court against The Red Lion Pub & Grill Inc. and its owner Miguel Perez. It is represented by Chicago attorney Tawfiq I. Ali.
Owned by Colin Cardwell, the plaintiff Red Lion Pub bills itself as the premier English pub in the Midwest, complete with Tudor architectural touches, dark wood paneling and a large Union Jack mural.
Founded in 1984, the suit says the Lincoln Park bar located at 2446 N. Lincoln Ave. and its distinctive branding materials have been featured in major newspapers such as the New York Times and Chicago Tribune, national magazines like Whiskey Magazine, Esquire and GQ, and the popular travel guide Lonely Planet.
Three miles to the west there is a bar with a different story.
In 2013, Perez incorporated the defendant Red Lion Pub and registered a service mark (similar to a trademark) with the Illinois Secretary of State. The registration reads “The Red Lion Pub and Grill -- with logo -- words appear in stylized print in gold with one lion on the left side and one lion on the right in red."
The registration notes this service mark was first used on Nov. 1, 2013, nearly 30 years after the plaintiff Red Lion Pub opened. The defendants went on to use the name and service mark in mass mailings, various internet services and its own website.
The plaintiff Red Lion Pub claims the defendant's use of its name and marketing practices confuse customers who are seeking out it and have siphoned business from the Lincoln Park pub.
Various discussions in online communities indeed show there is some confusion about relationship of the two entities. That confusion, according to the plaintiff, extends beyond the cyber world and into the real world.
"Customers have mistakenly called The Red Lion Pub to place orders from menus distributed by [the defendant]. Vendors have mistakenly sent invoices and orders to The Red Lion Pub that were intended for [the defendant]," the suit alleges.
The plaintiff contends it asked the defendants to stop using the materials it sees as infringements on its own set of service marks and trademarks before filing the lawsuit, but that those requests were disregarded.
The suit accuses the defendants of willfully and intentionally violating Illinois and federal trademark and service mark laws, as the plaintiff asserts the violations are causing a loss of money and diluting its trademark.
In addition to asking the court to force the defendants to stop using the materials in question, the plaintiff Red Lion Pub wants all profits the defendants have made through the alleged unlawful acts.
Other remedies sought include having the defendants pay for "corrective advertising, royalties, loss of reputation, loss of future revenue, loss of business opportunities, and all other recoverable damages" and ordering the service mark registration the defendants obtained from the Illinois Secretary of State to be cancelled.
The plaintiff further claims the defendants are violating the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act by using the website www.theredlionpubandgrillchicago.com, and asks that the domain name be handed over to it and for an award of $100,00 for the violation.
It appears the defendants aren't the only ones who have used "Red Lion" in the name of a Chicago pub.
The plaintiff, on its website, notes that it is "not affiliated with The Red Lion Lincoln Square located at 4748 N. Rockwell St.," an English-themed bar in Lincoln Square about four miles from the plaintiff's Lincoln Park pub.