Wild Wing fight promises sizzling court battle

Put down the spicy chicken wing and get ready for some heat in Federal Court. That's what a Canadian company is telling an American rival with almost the same name and fare of hot wings and beer.

Aurora, Ont.-based Wild Wing says it will go to court to stop Minnesota-based Buffalo Wild Wings' name from being used in the American company’s planned Canadian expansion.

wingsThe Canadian company registered "Wild Wing" with the Canadian Intellectual Property Office in 2003, and the likely argument will be the American competitor’s name would confuse customers and violates trademark.

More details will come up when the filing becomes available, but one of the lawyers working for the Canadian company, Heenan Blaikie LLP litigator Matt Diskin, tells Legal Feeds, the suit will be filed in Federal Court “today or tomorrow.”

“To us, it’s a straight matter of trademark,” Diskin says. 

Wild Wind owner Rick Smiciklas echoed that comment in a press conference yesterday. "I own the trademark. They don't," Smiciklas told Reuters.

But Matt Brokl, Buffalo Wild Wings' general counsel, told journalists in e-mailed statements that the U.S. franchise will fight the suit, because it believes it has the right to use its name.  He said the American company wants to “co-exist” with its Canadian rival.

Smiciklas founded Wild Wing in southern Ontario in 1999, building it up to 80 restaurants and planning for further expansion.

Buffalo Wild Wings is about a decade older and much bigger, with 700 restaurants in the United States. It says it want to build 50 more in Canada. ?

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