Building a Fence Around Your Restaurant

Recently, restaurants and businesses in the food industry have been featured in national and international headlines. Here in Malaysia, the famous McDonald’s vs. McCurry argument occurred, and more recently, we fought with Singapore and Indonesia about the origin of particular delicacies. Malaysians appear to be starting to realize that the restaurant sector is an economic sector, just like any other non-food sector.

Despite the enormous amount of innovation present in the industry, how many owners of restaurants are aware of the significance of identifying their unique traits, asserting proprietary rights to them, and protecting their rights?

If you are eating out, think about what draws you to a restaurant aside the parking possibilities. Is it the intriguing name, the interior decor (furniture, wall displays, floor or ceiling patterns/designs, etc.), the menu card with imaginative menu items, the presentation or service of the food (possibly with specially designed cutlery and plates), the staff’s attire, the music playing, or the chef’s reputation? The topic of this article is how creative elements in the restaurant business are protected and kept out of the hands of competitors.

A Name Is Worth What?

It happens frequently that the restaurant’s commercial name and registered or incorporated name are different (i.e., the name on the signage, menu card, and so on). For instance, even if McDonald’s® is the restaurant’s trade name, Golden Arches Restaurants Sdn Bhd is the chain’s owner in Malaysia. Unless the trade name is registered as a trademark in the country, others may use the same or similar names. Fighting unregistered marks in court is a difficult, expensive, and unreliable process.

The owners of a restaurant are therefore advised to register the trade name as a trademark as soon as feasible after choosing it. If the owner permits others to use the same trade name for santa monica restaurants that are similar to his or hers, the license agreement must be submitted to the Trademark office.

If It Looks Good, Keep It Protected, Ok?

It is challenging to defend and even more challenging to enforce the fundamental ambiance of a restaurant unless the opposing party essentially imitates every element of the interior. One way to get around this is to acquire and use specifically and entirely created interior objects for the organization of the restaurant and its bars, tables, seats, counters, silverware, and other items.

The goods’ industrial design rights, in particular, which are protected by intellectual property, may belong to the restaurant. After registration, no one, not even the original manufacturer of the items, is allowed to duplicate the exact same design or commodities.

When the restaurant is given the rights, copyright can be used to preserve things like photos, artistic artwork, and staff uniforms. No one else is able to reproduce the exact same graphics, drawings, or uniform. Of course, the restaurant may duplicate the articles for their other branch locations.

The Full Menu

Copyright rules would immediately safeguard the menu card’s design, as well as all of its creative endeavors, if it was original. Of course, the restaurant should obtain a copyright assignment if a third-party designer or artist was engaged to create the card without a written contract for contracting the task.

The protection of menu items is more challenging. Even if the menu items are standard dishes that are frequently provided at other restaurants, they may have unique names. The distinctive names can be filed as trademarks to stop other santa monica restaurants from referring to the same dish by your trademark.

What Do You Know That You Have a “Secret” Recipe?

Because forms are crucial. It is forbidden for others to adopt the same or nearly similar shapes. However, if the food item is in liquid form, the shape of the container—assuming it was properly made—might be protected under industrial design law.

What Do Well-Known Chefs Contribute to the Table?

In Malaysia, cooks frequently solitary up or stay in the kitchen. The name of the chef is not typically used in restaurant advertisements. However, restaurants commonly promote their services in many western countries by naming the chef and highlighting their qualifications in the kitchen. If the chef leaves the restaurant and goes to work for a competing company, problems will develop when the latter starts using the chef’s name in advertisements. it is a challenging subject that isn’t really appropriate for this style of writing.

The trademarks mentioned in the article are owned by their respective owners. The author does not assert any form of proprietary rights; they are just used for educational reasons.

Kandiah P serves as managing director of KASS International, a respected intellectual property firm with offices in Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia. He has a wealth of experience assisting domestic and foreign clients in acquiring patent, trademark, and industrial design rights on a worldwide basis. Along with uncovering patentable innovations, he specializes in designing around patented technology, working with customers to create new products, and providing guidance on the commercialization of IP Rights. Since 1987, he has been a lawyer specializing