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Double-Double, Legal Style: In-N-Out Sues DoorDash

By Christopher Coble, Esq. on November 12, 2015 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Among fast food burger joints, few have so carefully refined their brand and image as In-N-Out Burger. The limited (and secret) menu, the California vibe, and the customer service make it everyone's first stop when they hit the West Coast. But as anyone who's stopped at an In-N-Out knows, those lines can get pretty long, and many of us have dreamt about having a Double-Double delivered instead.

In steps food delivery service, the savior for lazy fans of Animal Style burgers and fries. But the burger chain is pumping the brakes on the delivery service, suing DoorDash to keep them from delivering those delicious, delicious burgers.

DoorDash's Idea Is a Little Undercooked

In-N-Out filed the claim for trademark infringement and unfair competition in a California federal court last week. Among other allegations, In-N-Out accuses DoorDash of using an "Imitation Logo" on its website that "is intended to, and has, confused consumers as to Defendant's authority to delivery Plaintiff's food items." The burger chain also claims DoorDash's use of its logo and trademarks will dilute their value and is seeking to stop both the use of In-N-Out's logos.

Additionally, In-N-Out says delivery vehicles used by DoorDash's drivers aren't compliant with the California Retail Food Code, and that In-N-Out would never authorize anyone "to deliver its food products to consumers without the necessary food handling licenses and food safety procedures in place."

Stop-N-Go Delivery

While In-N-Out will likely be able to bar DoorDash from the unauthorized use of its images and intellectual property, it's another matter whether it can ban delivery services like DoorDash. In the meantime, Eater is reporting that In-N-Out doesn't appear on the site's list of California restaurants, and an In-N-Out spokesperson told the site:

"DoorDash is using our food and trademarks in a way that implies we have some kind of partnership or agreement with them, when that is not the case. We have asked DoorDash several times to stop using our trademarks and to stop selling our food. Unfortunately, they have continued to prominently use our trademarks and serve our food to customers who believe that we are responsible for their delivery. Prior to filing the lawsuit, we tried contacting them several more times but they never responded to our phone calls or letters."

Meaning you might have to wait in line for your 4x4 tonight. Sorry.

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