Los Angeles, CA – Trademark attorneys for La Casita Mexicana, translates to “the little Mexican House,” filed a trademark infringement and Lanham Act § 43(a) unfair competition (15 U.S.C. § 1125) complaint, at the Federal District Court in Los Angeles, over another restaurant’s use of the same trademark. La Casita Mexicana is located in Bell, California and has registered its restaurant name as its trademark at the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Plaintiff, who claims Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa as a patron, asserts that its “customers and the public have come to identify La Casita Mexicana with Plaintiff’s excellent food and service.”
Plaintiff asserts that Defendant began using the same mark for its restaurant services ten years after Plaintiff’s first date of use. Plaintiff became aware of Defendant’s use through phone calls from customers inquiring about Plaintiff’s Whittier, California location – which it did not have. Plaintiff’s attorney sent a cease and desist letter to Defendant, who allegedly has refused to cease using the restaurant name. The complaint alleges that “Defendant’s use in commerce of the La Casita Mexicana Trademark for restaurant services has caused, and is likely to continue to cause confusion, deception, and mistake in the minds of the public with respect to the source and origin of Defendant’s goods and services, in that the public and those in the food and restaurant industry will believe that Plaintiff is the source of origin of such goods and services.” The case is titled La Casita Mexicana, Inc. v. Nereida Mendoza, CV 08-05286 ODW (C.D. Cal. 2008).