The curious case of Stubb’s vs. Stubb’s has begun in Austin.
On Nov. 25, One World Foods Inc filed a suit with the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas against Stubb’s Austin Restaurant Co., the Austin, TX restaurant and concert venue. The entertainment venue features the same branding as the barbecue sauce, which were both originally housed under the same company.
In 1991, One World Foods acquired the Stubb’s brand from founding restaurateur C.B. “Stubb” Stubblefield. Earlier this year, McCormick & Co. Inc acquired One World Foods and are now unhappy with the restaurant’s efforts to expand their presence in Austin. Stubb’s Austin Restaurant Co. owners Jeff Waughtal and Matt Luckie had planned to start selling their meats and various food products at Graceland Grocery and the Christmas-themed bar LaLa’s Little Nugget. Those plans have now come to halt, thanks to One World Foods’ lawsuit.
“Defendant’s use and promotion of the Stubb’s marks at Stubb’s at Graceland Grocery and Lala’s Little Nugget has resulted in and will continue to result in incalculable harm to plaintiff because of a likelihood of confusion among customers,” the lawsuit states, according to the Austin Business Journal.
The suit goes onto say that the two companies outlined specific limitations of how they could individually use the brand. The only problem with this claim is that this agreement was only an oral agreement, which means that no formal legal contract between the two parties has been created.
Only time will tell if these two will be able to come to a harmonious middle ground. For all of us barbecue lovers, hopefully the decision comes sooner rather than later.