Kung POW! Mr. Chow Smacks Philippe With Epic Trademark Lawsuit


Now, this has to be a first a PR company e-mailing us a lawsuit? Weve already documented the strange public-relations strategies that Philippe and Mr. Chow have employed in their longstanding feud, but now it has come to this: Mr. Chow is suing Philippe for unfair and deceptive trade practices, misappropriation of trade secrets, unfair competition, conversion, trademark infringement, false advertising, and other violations of the Lanham Act and common law. The suit charges that Philippe Chau has willfully caused brand confusion by changing his name to Chow, taking credit for dishes that Mr. Chow actually invented, using Internet ads and search tags to lead Mr. Chows would-be patrons to his restaurant, and passing himself off as Mr. Chows former executive chef when he was really just the lead expediter and primarily a food chopper who, though he contributed nothing whatsoever (emphasis theirs) to the Mr. Chow menu, ended up taking its dishes over to his own restaurant and passing them off as his own.

Do yourself a favor and read the complaint. Clearly written for public consumption, it tells the story of Mr. Chow in cinematic scope, touching on Mr. Chows father (one of the eight most influential people in the history of China), the creation of one of the first designer restaurants, Mr. Chows 30th-anniversary party (it is unlikely that such a famous and diverse group of people has ever been brought together before, or since, to commemorate such an event), the restaurants hand-pulled-noodle show (as seen on the Kung Fu Panda DVD!), and the establishment of Michael Chow as a cultural icon (in the company of Ray Croc, founder of McDonalds) whose work has inspired great artists, designers and producers. Philippes owner, Stratis Morfogen, meanwhile, is presented as just some dude who owned an amusement park and tipped a busboy $20 to steal away Mr. Chows chef, er, vegetable chopper.

If Philippe really was just a lowly cook at Mr. Chow, he really has pulled the wool over everyones eyes not that it really matters given how tepidly critics responded to his restaurant (in his review, Platt called certain dishes possibly as good as your local takeout joint but not worth the extravagant price). But then again, its the people, not the critics, who keep restaurants like these going. Anyway, cant these guys just get along? You dont see Super Taste suing Tasty Hand-Pulled Noodles! Actually, all this makes us want to do is order cheap Chinese.

Michael Chow et. al. vs. Chak Yam Chaw et. al. [PDF]

Update: Philippe to Mr. Chow: Yeah, I Changed My Name to Chow, So What?