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1 August 2016Trademarks

Sweetie Pie’s founder sues son for trademark infringement

Robbie Montgomery, the founder of US soul food restaurant, Sweetie Pie’s, has sued her son for trademark infringement.

Montgomery filed the lawsuit at the US District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri on July 26 after her son James Norman opened restaurants that also used the Sweetie Pie’s name.

Montgomery opened her first Sweetie Pie’s restaurant in Missouri in 1996.

A year later she registered trademarks for the terms ‘T.J’s Sweetie Pie’s’, ‘Sweetie Pie’s Kitchen’ and ‘Sweetie Pie’s’.

In 2011, Montgomery and family members, including Norman, appeared on a reality television show called “Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s”.

According to the complaint, Norman went on to open a restaurant in North Hollywood called ‘TJ’s Sweetie Pie’s Noho’ and one in Berkeley called ‘TJ’s Sweetie Pie’s Airport’.

Montgomery said Norman is infringing her trademarks through the restaurant's signage, exterior and via social media sites.

She added that Norman also “withdrew substantial” sums of money from her business accounts.

Montgomery is asking for damages, attorneys' fees and a trial by jury.

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