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Dan Tana's Loses Federal Appeal on Trademark Dispute

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Fri, Jul 23, 2010 at 3:15 PM

click to enlarge Dan Tana's on Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood
  • Dan Tana's on Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood
Dan Tana's, the famous Italian restaurant on Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood, recently lost another round in its dispute with an Atlanta sports bar/restaurant that goes by the name of Dantanna's.

This time, the Eleventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Atlanta said the lawsuit has no merit.

In the court's July 15th ruling, according to Courthouse News Service, Judge R. Lanier Anderson wrote that there was "minimal evidence" that customers would confuse the restaurants, "aside from the initial similarity of their names and the fact that they both provide restaurant services."

"The remaining factors all weigh against a likelihood of confusion, some overwhelmingly so," Anderson wrote for the three-judge panel. "Moreover, in light of the vast geographical distance between the two markets ... a likelihood of confusion is highly unlikely."

The judges also dismissed Dan Tana's assertion that David Clapp, who founded Dantanna's, intentionally named his establishment after the West Hollywood restaurant, where Orson Welles, George Clooney, and John Belushi, among others, have reportedly eaten at one time or another.

According to Courthouse News Service, Clapp said he came up with the name by combining the names of his two children, Dan and Anna, with a plus sign in the middle. All of the words then got pushed together, creating "Dantanna's."

"Without any evidence to contradict Clapp's account that his restaurant is named after his own two children, as opposed to plaintiff's restaurant in Hollywood," Anderson wrote, "... there can be no intentional appropriation of plaintiff's name or likeness."

The appeals court upheld a federal judge's dismissal of Tana's lawsuit.

Contact Patrick Range McDonald at pmcdonald@laweekly.com.

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