Subway sues Vegas restaurant alleging trademark infringement

Published Mon, Oct 19, 2009 (9:43 a.m.)

Updated Mon, Oct 19, 2009 (10:55 a.m.)

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The owner of the Subway sandwich empire is suing a Las Vegas restaurant for calling itself "Subway Avenue."

Doctor's Associates Inc. of Milford, Conn., franchisor of the Subway chain of sandwich shops, filed suit in U.S. District Court in Las Vegas last week against the Subway Avenue restaurant in the Village Square shopping center at 9440 W. Sahara Ave., Suite 175, and its owner Gevork Boyadzhyan.

Subway, which says its system has 31,879 restaurants in 91 nations, asserts in the lawsuit claims of trademark infringement, unfair competition and Internet cybersquatting.

Subway says Boyadzhyan opened Subway Avenue around June and that the business and his Web site showing the Subway Avenue menu infringe on Subway's trademarks.

The lawsuit, filed by attorneys with the firm Gordon Silver, said Subway sent a letter to Boyadzhyan on Aug. 18 demanding he stop infringing on its trademarks -- but that the defendant has continued to use the name "Subway Avenue."

But Boyadzhyan said Monday that in response to Subway's demands, he's already changed the name of the business to "Sub Avenue."

"They gave me a hard time about the name," the business owner said.

"Defendant's use of plaintiff's mark within the name of its restaurant and related services will likely cause confusion or mistake, or will likely deceive the public as to defendant's food products and restaurant as being associated or identified with or being the same as those of plaintiff," the suit charges.

On the cybersquatting count, Subway charged: "Defendant has registered, trafficked and/or used (an Internet) domain name that is identical or confusingly similar to and/or dilutive of plaintiff's mark, which was distinctive at the time of registration of the infringing domain name."

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