US burger chain in trademark row with Devon pub

US-based Smashburger has issued a pub in Devon with a cease and desist after the latter launched a new burger menu to boost takeaway trade.

A Smashburger restaurant in Indianapolis

Rob Naylor, manager of The Colebrook Inn in Plympton, told Plymouth Live that the pub had launched Howey’s Smashed Burgers a few months ago in an effort to adapt to the current climate.

The pub worked with local designers to create a logo and submitted a formal trademark application to the Intellectual Property Office in August, which was later published in October.

However, two months after waiting for official approval from the IPO, the pub received a letter from lawyers representing Colorado-based burger chain Smashburger.

Smashburger operates around 300 sites globally, including seven in the UK, with outlets in Bath, Brighton, Newcastle, Glasgow, Milton Keynes, Wednesbury and Dunfermline.

The chain accuses The Colebrook Inn of infringing on its trademarks and states that its new burger menu could cause customer confusion.

Naylor told Plymouth Live: “It’s frustrating because I’m not a global chain, [I’m] just trying to make a living and provide the local community with something different and keep staff employed. A smashed burger is a process of cooking, not a brand.”

The letter asks the pub to stop using the logo and remove the word ‘smashed’ from its brand name.

the drinks business has contacted Smashburger for comment.

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