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Fairway sues Fairway


menton1
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The Cafasso Fairway market in Fort Lee, having gotten wind of the impending opening of Fairway of Manhattan in Paramus, has decided to sue, according to the Bergen Record.

The lawyers will be very happy, but this move seems to have no return whatsoever for the Fort Lee place. This will be a/ a very tough lawsuit because the Fairway in NY has been using the name for almost as long as the one in Fort Lee, and b/ The Fort Lee place should be overjoyed if anyone mistakenly thinks that they are affiliated, because the Manhattan Fairway is certainly well received and has a wonderful reputation far and wide. (as well as caché)!!!

It sounds like more of a hissy-fit than a lawsuit based on any practicality. Any mistaken association between the 2 places could only HELP the Fort Lee place.

Of course, any true foodie could never mix up the 2 places. What's the latest skinny on when Fairway will be breaking ground at the Fashion Center?

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The Cafasso Fairway market in Fort Lee, having gotten wind of the impending opening of  Fairway of Manhattan in Paramus, has decided to sue, according to the Bergen Record. 

The lawyers will be very happy, but this move seems to have no return whatsoever for the Fort Lee place.  This will be a/ a very tough lawsuit because the Fairway in NY has been using the name for almost as long as the one in Fort Lee, and b/ The Fort Lee place should be overjoyed if anyone mistakenly thinks that they are affiliated, because the Manhattan Fairway is certainly well received and has a wonderful reputation far and wide. (as well as caché)!!! 

It sounds like more of a hissy-fit than a lawsuit based on any practicality.  Any mistaken association between the 2 places could only HELP the Fort Lee place. 

Of course, any true foodie could never mix up the 2 places.  What's the latest skinny on when Fairway will be breaking ground at the Fashion Center?

 

When I read the article, I (as a huge fan of the Fort Lee Fairway) said GOOD FOR THEM!

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Is the Fort Lee Fairway really older than Fairway on Broadway and 74th? I think the Fairway on Broadway and 74th is currently celebrating its 50th anniversary.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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So I found the article:

http://www.bergenrecord.com/page.php?qstr=...Xl5NzE3ODg0MQ==

My reading of it is that Fairway NYC is older:

According to the court papers, the Fort Lee store registered the "Fairway Market" with the State of New Jersey "in or around 1961."

and

The Manhattan Fairway started in the 1940s as a fruit and vegetable stand on the Upper West Side.

I do think the New Jersey Fairway has a strong argument, though. They're taking a reasonable position as to the geographic scope of their business area. It's not one of these cases where a store opens 100 miles away. This is 11 miles away, with the exact same name.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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I do think the New Jersey Fairway has a strong argument, though. They're taking a reasonable position as to the geographic scope of their business area. It's not one of these cases where a store opens 100 miles away. This is 11 miles away, with the exact same name

In my mind, the legality of the argument is not what has merit here; the business logic of the lawsuit is what is BAD. It's more than mileage, it's the logistics of this part of Bergen County. The Fort Lee Fairway has little to lose and a lot to gain from a store of the caliber of Fairway NY opening in Paramus. The one in Ft Lee, no matter how long it's been there, has a following mainly in the surrounding towns. Hardly anybody outside of a 5 mile distance has ever heard of the place! So, while the Ft Lee place may be well known and appreciated in Ft Lee, Cliffside, Pal Pk, and Leonia, that's about 95% of its customers.

The residents of Bergen living outside of these towns rarely venture into them to shop because of congestion, poor roads, high traffic, little parking, and a much more urbanized environment than in the rest of the county.

So any runoff from even a fallacious association with the 2 places would only benefit the Ft Lee place, not vice-versa. So they, IMHO, should save their money, forget about the lawyers and their fees, and chill.

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Perhaps they take pride in the name of the family business. Nothing wrong with that. If I had some small, struggling, long-standing family restaurant in New Jersey named Le Bernardin and the Le Bernardin in Manhattan decided to open near me, I'd try to block the use of the name. It wouldn't matter to me that I could take advantage of an opportunity to pretend to be like the better Le Bernardin. I still wouldn't want them infringing on my trade name.

(SundaySous, Liberty Island is part of New York State. The dispute was over Ellis Island. The Supreme Court ruled that most of Ellis Island is part of New Jersey, and that only the main building and five surrounding acres are part of New York.)

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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I do think the New Jersey Fairway has a strong argument, though. They're taking a reasonable position as to the geographic scope of their business area. It's not one of these cases where a store opens 100 miles away. This is 11 miles away, with the exact same name

In my mind, the legality of the argument is not what has merit here; the business logic of the lawsuit is what is BAD. It's more than mileage, it's the logistics of this part of Bergen County. The Fort Lee Fairway has little to lose and a lot to gain from a store of the caliber of Fairway NY opening in Paramus. The one in Ft Lee, no matter how long it's been there, has a following mainly in the surrounding towns. Hardly anybody outside of a 5 mile distance has ever heard of the place! So, while the Ft Lee place may be well known and appreciated in Ft Lee, Cliffside, Pal Pk, and Leonia, that's about 95% of its customers.

The residents of Bergen living outside of these towns rarely venture into them to shop because of congestion, poor roads, high traffic, little parking, and a much more urbanized environment than in the rest of the county.

So any runoff from even a fallacious association with the 2 places would only benefit the Ft Lee place, not vice-versa. So they, IMHO, should save their money, forget about the lawyers and their fees, and chill.

Menton, thank you for expressing my exact thoughts (and probably the thoughts of many others) on this situation. You hid the nail right on the head. I enjoy venturing all over Bergen County, but I don't venture into Fort Lee and the surrounding area for the exact reasons you mention. I just can't take the traffic and lack of parking.

I understand the Fort Lee Fairway market is a small family owned business, and they may have an oportunity to get some $$$ out of this, but I agree that it is highly unlikely that they will lose any business when the Paramus Fairway opens. They'll probably reach a settlement.

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Cafasso's Fairway in Fort Lee dates to the 1920s (the exact date was on their plastic bags) with the motto: "Where U.C. the Finest Food" or something similar. Anyone who thinks the lawsuit is a joke hasn't shopped the Fort Lee store, which was expanded about five years ago. Part of the expansion was many more parking spaces, adding to a previously adequate lot.

Edited by vsasson (log)
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Cafasso's Fairway in Fort Lee dates to the 1920s (the exact date was on their plastic bags) with the motto: "Where U.C. the Finest Food" or something similar. Anyone who thinks the lawsuit is a joke hasn't shopped the Fort Lee store, which was expanded about five years ago. Part of the expansion was many more parking spaces, adding to a previously adequate lot.

They also got lots of new refrigeration equipment at that time....my husband installed it all :smile:

T

Edited by rooftop1000 (log)

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Cafasso's Fairway in Fort Lee dates to the 1920s

According to the Bergen Record story it was not, however, called Fairway. It was called Cafasso's Market. It seems from the article that the Fairway name was adopted in 1961, around the time the market moved to Fort Lee.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Cafasso's Fairway in Fort Lee dates to the 1920s

According to the Bergen Record story it was not, however, called Fairway. It was called Cafasso's Market. It seems from the article that the Fairway name was adopted in 1961, around the time the market moved to Fort Lee.

Are there Federal laws concerning the use of "Trade names", or is this strictly a state-by-state issue?

(Ironically, a straight line between the Uptown Fairway and Cafasso's is probably less than 1 mile! But would a "Fairway" 400 miles away in Buffalo, NY be restricted?)

A little insight into Trade Name law would be appreciated.

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There are both federal and state bases for trade name causes of action. In federal law there are protections under the Lanham Act and each state has unfair competition laws and various related laws and precedents on the books. Some states go by priority of registration of a trade name, others go by public use. This case is I believe in the federal district court in Newark. That court will be looking at both federal and New Jersey law to determine the outcome.

If you scroll down here to the entry from West's Law Encyclopedia, there's a pretty good basic explanation of trade name law. This part is a useful policy analysis:

Trade name regulation serves four purposes. First, the law seeks to protect the economic, intellectual, and creative investments made by businesses in distinguishing their trades. Second, the law seeks to preserve the good will and reputation that are often associated with a particular trade name. Third, the law seeks to promote clarity and stability in the marketplace by encouraging consumers to rely on a merchant's trade name when evaluating the quality of its merchandise. Fourth, the law seeks to increase competition by requiring businesses to associate their own trade names with the value and quality of their goods and services.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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