Chipotle Mexican Grill is suing rival Sweetgreen for trademark infringement over the latter’s recently released salad bowl.
In a lawsuit filed Tuesday, Chipotle said that Sweetgreen’s “Chipotle Chicken Burrito Bowl” is being marketed in a “very similar and directly competitive” manner that is similar to Chipotle’s chicken burrito bowl. Sweetgreen released the salad last week, with a press release saying the new menu item uses “chipotle spices.”
Chipotle argues that the Sweetgreen salad not only has similar ingredients, including chicken, a grain base (i.e. rice) and black beans, but also took issue with Sweetgreen’s marketing because it accuses its rival of “making prominent use of the famous Chipotle trademark” in ads.
Sweetgreen said it is aware of Chipotle’s lawsuit, but it doesn’t comment on pending litigation.
The salad chain’s shares fell more than 10% on the news Wednesday.
Chipotle also accused Sweetgreen of using a “font nearly identical” to Chipotle’s on its website promoting the new salad. Some of Sweetgreen’s ads also use color that’s “nearly identical” to Chipotle’s trademarked Adobo Red.
In a statement to CNN, Chipotle said it is “committed to protecting our valuable trademarks and intellectual property,” adding that “consistent with that, we will take appropriate actions whenever necessary to protect our rights and our brand.”
(CMG) said in its lawsuit that it reached out to Sweetgreen to stop and didn’t receive a response, claiming that Sweetgreen “continued its infringing conduct.” It suggested that Sweetgreen alter the name of its new bowl by using the word chipotle in lower case and re-naming it as a “chicken bowl with chipotle.”
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