Celebrity Chef Disputes with Restaurants Highlight Importance of IP Protection

This is the age of the celebrity chef – and their names and personas are valuable commodities in promoting both restaurants and related food businesses.

Many restaurants are founded on the merging of up-and-coming talent with money backers seeking to exploit that talent and renown. In the early stages, both sides are excited to combine their resources to invest in what will hopefully become a successful project. Later, however, when something goes wrong in the relationship between the talent and the money, there can be bitter disputes over who can exploit the chef’s famous name.

We were recently quoted in an eater.com article, Why Restaurants Can’t Always Fire Chefs Accused of Sexual Misconduct, that discusses the legal entanglements that can surround disputes between celebrity chefs and restaurant owners.

Among other things, we are quoted as discussing how a chef can ensure that he retains control of his name and the reputation that goes with it, by structuring part of the deal as a trademark license.

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