Trademarking Philadelphia(’)s Cheesesteak - Fordham Intellectual Property, Media & Entertainment Law Journal
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Trademarking Philadelphia(’)s Cheesesteak

Trademarking Philadelphia(’)s Cheesesteak

The devil is surely in the details. At least, one deli is willing to challenge the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office over a mere apostrophe. Even for punctuation enthusiasts, the apostrophe does not seem weighty enough to sustain a lawsuit. But when it has the power to differentiate one cheesesteak from another, perhaps it is worth the fight. Campo’s Deli in Philadelphia is insistent that presence of the mark in “Philadelphia’s Cheesesteak” is distinct enough to warrant a trademark, as opposed to the claimed “generic” version of “Philadelphia Cheesesteak.” Although the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office might be reluctant to accept the Campo’s Deli’s argument, it is fascinating that a company could believe enough good could be demonstrated in a punctuation mark render it protectable. Then again, everyone has different valuation systems or, stated otherwise, different tastes in value (pun intended).

Brooke Luxenburg