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Uwajimaya Sues Over "Waji's" Trademark Filings

The Waji’s concession at Seatac. (Photo from defendant’s Web site) 

Who’s entitled to register WAJI’S?

Plaintiff Uwajimaya, Inc., says it’s the only one who is. On Sept. 14, it filed suit in the Western District against Concourse Concessions, LLC, to establish that point. 

The Seattle-based Asian grocer leased space at the Seatac International Airport for the purpose of selling food and beverage concessions. It alleges it subleased part of its space to Concourse with the understanding that Concourse would develop a concession concept using Uwajimaya’s brand.

The complaint states in 2007 Concourse opened a restaurant called “Waji’s by Uwajimaya,” which serves ready-to-eat Asian foods. Uwajimaya alleges it suggested the name because customers often shorten Uwajimaya to “Waji’s.” It alleges it granted Concourse an oral license to use its mark with the understanding that the agreement would be reduced to writing. Uwajimaya says it never was.

The complaint says in 2009, Concourse filed a number of federal applications to register trademarks including the terms WAJI’S and UWAJIMAYA, claiming to be the owner of those marks. One of the applications has matured to registration.

Uwajimaya says it attempted to negotiate an assignment of Concourse’s filings but its efforts failed. It claims it has terminated its oral license agreement.

Uwajimaya alleges claims for trademark infringement, false designation of origin, violation of Washington’s anti-dilution statue, and fraudulent registration.

Concourse has not yet filed an answer.

The case cite is Uwajimaya, Inc. v. Concourse Concessions, LLC, No. 10-1474 (W.D. Wash.).

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