Call your burrito bowl what you want, but don't name it "Chipotle Chicken Burrito Bowl".
Chipotle Mexican grill Inc. is the latest to throw down the gauntlet. It has sued its rival fast-casual restaurant Sweetgreen Inc. in California over trademark infringement.
Chipotle's lawyers appeared in federal court on a Tuesday to claim that Sweetgreen’s new menu item "Chipotle Chicken Burrito Bowl" crosses the line.
Chipotle claims that Sweetgreen's Burrito Bowl is "very similar" and "directly competitive" to its own. The item was said to have similar ingredients such as black beans, chicken, and rice.
Sweetgreen also "makes prominent use" of the famous Chipotle brand by using the term chipotle.
Chipotle is a Mexican spice made of dried and smoked jalapeno.
Sweetgreen has said that it will not comment on any pending lawsuits. Its shares have fallen more than 10% in the last 24 hours.
Sweetgreen introduced the burrito n bowl just last month
Sweetgreen is known for their healthy grain bowls and salads. They are now on a quest to add "heartier" options to their menu.
A press release by the company stated that internal studies showed 70% of their customers prefer chicken to other proteins.
Nicolas Jammet is sweetgreen's Co-Founder and Chief concept officer. "The Chipotle Chicken Burrito Bowl" is their answer to more hearty meal options. This protein-heavy sweetgreen option is inspired by chipotle spice.
The product was launched on 30 March.
Chipotle, however, is not pleased with the name. In a lawsuit filed by the company, it claimed that they had contacted Sweetgreen and asked them to stop using their name.
They even suggested a new title -- "Chicken Bowl With Chipotle" (lowercase C).
Sweetgreen didn't seem to be too happy about it and did not respond.