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Hooters files business litigation against escort service

Many jokes have been made at the expense of Georgia-based Hooters of America. However, the popular restaurant chain is not joking about the business litigation it recently filed against an escort service. The suit, which was filed in federal court, alleges the escort service not only used the company's name without permission, but its logo as well.

Hooters discovered that the escort service placed an advertisement on Craigslist soliciting women to work for the company. The photograph that accompanied the advertisement pictured women in Hooters Ecuador shirts and tight orange shorts. Hooters attempted to contact the owner of the escort service by mail asking the company to cease and desist using Hooters name and logo.

The response Hooters received was apparently less than complimentary, so it filed suit. On the occasions where Hooters has consented to the use of its name and logo, it approved and received compensation for that use. Hooters alleges that the unauthorized use by the escort service causes damage to the Hooters reputation and brand. This is not the first time Hooters has filed such a suit. From 2001 through 2004, the company battled numerous pornography websites over similar issues.

The escort service failed to respond to the Hooters lawsuit and to appear in court. Therefore, the company has requested a default judgment against the defendant. If the court finds the defendant to be in default, attorney's fees could be added to any award for damages. When a Georgia company discovers that its brand and logo are used without permission or compensation, it may file business litigation seeking damages.

Source: bradenton.com, Hooters sues escort service for violating trademark, Jenny Staletovich, Feb. 14, 2014

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