If someone gives you a BicMac, and you are not in a McDonald’s, do you still believe it is a BigMac? That is claimed to be the issue in a law suit between US burger chain In-N-Out Burger and delivery startup DoorDash.
In-N-Out Burgers is suing food delivery service Door Dash for delivering its food to customers without its consent. The burger chain claims trademark infringement and “wrong designation of origin”.
Door Dash delivers food right to you door. The startup also delivers In-N-Out Burgers products and uses their logo on its website. This is done without the franchise’s consent.
It seems In-N-Out Burgers is using trademark law to legally help the them with the real (and understandable) issue at hand: the franchise chain has no control over several important factors concerning the food, including food temperatures and presentation. This way Door Dash’s customers may not receive the intended In-N-Out Burgers-experience: if a burger arrives at your door step cold, you may be hesitant to order or eat at In-N-Out Burgers again.
Although trademark law may prevent Door Dash from using In-N-Out Burgers’ logo, it remains to be seen if they can prohibit the resale of their products. If I buy a BigMac at McDonald’s, I can do what I want with it. Even delivering it to someones doorstep.