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Chicken and waffle feud

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Last month a restaurant calling itself Rosscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles opened in Chicago. That’s ‘Rosscoe’s,’ you understand, with a double S. Immediately, Los Angeles’ famous Roscoe’s House of Chicken n Waffles sued for copyright infringement, and a Chicago court has ordered Rosscoe’s to remove every trace of that name from the place by the end of business next Wednesday. The owner will change the name to Chicago’s House of Chicken and Waffles.

The problem wasn’t just the name. Rosscoe’s had the same logo as Roscoe’s (a chicken standing in front of a waffle) and served drinks named Sun Rise and Sunset, just as Roscoe’s does.

Oddly, the owner of Rosscoe’s ran a Rosscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles in New York for eight years without stirring up a lawsuit. Roscoe’s owner Herb Hudson explains that he let it slide because he had no plans to expand into the New York market. Chicago is another matter -- he’ll open a Roscoe’s there next year.

The original Roscoe’s isn’t finished with Rosscoe’s, either. It intends to sue for damages. ‘We’re suing them to the hilt,’ Hudson says.

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Owner Darnell Johnson said of the damage lawsuit, “He’s got to do what he’s got to do.” He plans to contest that suit.

-- Charles Perry


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