SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – The Oakland Raiders claim the Nation’s Giant Hamburgers chain violates the team’s “Raider Nation” trademark in an ad slogan that is “phonetically indistinguishable” from it: “When Hunger Hits, Raid a Nation’s.”
NFL Properties and the Raiders sued Nation’s Foodservice dba Nation’s Giant Hamburgers in Federal Court. On its web page, the hamburger chain claims to have 26 outlets in the Greater Bay Area.
The Raiders claim the burger chain violated the trademark on a billboard right outside the Oracle/Oakland Coliseum, where the team plays its home games.
The Raiders call it “‘ambush’ advertisement’ that falsely depicts Nation’s as enjoying some sort of official relationship with the Raiders.”
“The advertisement is easily visible to thousands of game day fans, as well as countless others who drive by the complex every day,” the complaint states.
The stadium is next to Interstate 880, one of the busiest freeways in the Bay Area.
The “Raid a Nation’s” slogan is “an obvious reference to the famous Raider Nation mark that identifies the Raiders and their loyal fans,” according to complaint.
What’s more, the burger chain altered its own logo – a giant cartoon hamburger – by giving it a pirate eyepatch like the one worn by the Raiders’ logo character.
“The unmistakable, overall message is that Nation’s and the Raiders have a marketing or sponsorship relationship of some kind when, in fact, the opposite is true,” the team says. “Despite their best efforts to resolve this dispute amicably, plaintiffs now believe that Nation’s course of conduct is such that only the court’s intervention can protect the goodwill and intellectual property of the Raiders and the NFL.”
The plaintiffs want the chain enjoined from using the “Raid a Nation’s” slogan, and damages for the trademark infringement and dilution, false advertising, and unfair competition.
They are represented by Richard White, with Fitzgerald, Abbott & Beardsley, of Oakland, and Bruce Keller with Debevoise & Plimpton in New York City.