Don’t mess with Robert Kirkman. According to The Hollywood Reporter, he’s currently trying to stop two entrepreneurs in New Jersey from obtaining the right to open a restaurant called “The Walking Dead.”
Kirkman’s lawsuit against the pair alleges that they “have filed eleven separate trademark applications with the United States Patent and Trademark Office to register THE WALKING DEAD and have taken concrete steps to use the mark in commerce by raising money and preparing to open a restaurant in New Jersey under the mark.”
They can claim the filing is coincidental, but there’s not much of a leg to stand on with that defense. Can you think of a single reason why you would want to name a restaurant “The Walking Dead” besides there being a hit TV series using the same name? “Rat Nest” or “Ebola R Us” would be about as appetizing.
The unnamed businessmen have done it before, and quite recently too. A separate paragraph in the lawsuit reveals they have attempted to file trademarks for the phrases NO SLEEP TILL BROOKLYN (a Beastie Boys hit), ZOMBIE CINDERELLA (currently owned by United Trademark Holdings), BROOKLYN ISLANDERS (National Hockey League) and MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN (I should not have to explain this one). So are they insane, or….
It would appear so. The request for a WALKING DEAD trademark was filed in January of 2014. It was requested in terms of restaurant services, then for food and beverage items, then drinking glasses, and then even lipstick.