clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

BREAKING: In-N-Out Sues WeHo's Blowfish Sushi Over 'Animal-Style' Dish

Talk about random lawsuits. We just got word that In-N-Out is suing West Hollywood's Blowfish Sushi to Die For over the use of 'animal style' on their menu. The burger chain apparently trademarked the term "animal" for their secret-menu Animal Style burger that has mustard, pickles, extra sauce and grilled onions. When the company found out Blowfish had an Animal-Style sushi roll---spicy tuna, snow crab, red onion and shrimp tempura wrapped in soy paper---they demanded it be removed from the menu. Blowfish owners said no, and they've been slapped with a lawsuit for copyright infringement. The whole thing is so seemingly proposterous, even celeb-investor Julian Lennon came out of the woodwork to weigh in. From the official release:

“At first we thought it was a joke," laughed musician Julian Lennon, who is a partner in Blowfish's four restaurants, including its location on the world-famous Sunset Strip. "No one in their right mind could possibly mistake a seafood sushi roll with a ground meat sandwich.”
Jason Teplitsky, another partner, says, "They are trying to bend us to their will just to be a vindictive playground bully." While similarities between the two 'animal-style' items are minor (both have onions), the differences are obvious. According to Blowfish PR, In-N-Out didn't have the "animal-style" burger on the not-so-secret secret menu until after the lawsuit was filed in 2005. We honestly have no way to verify that, but it is interesting. And really, In-N-Out trademarked "animal" and not "animal style?" It looks like the company also trademarked the word "protein" for the Protein Style burger. Anyone with protein shakes, protein bars, and protein cereals on their menu better watch out. As any ridiculous waste-of-taxpayers-money litigation goes, this story will probably continue on for years. Stay tuned