NJ hot dog mecca sues deli over name
Mar 17 2011
CLIFTON, N.J. — As war rages in Afghanistan, the U.S. wallows in political squalor, and Japan is poised on the brink of nuking its own people back to the stone age, American businessmen keep their priorities in order when it comes to that venerable American institution, THE HOT DOG.
One of New Jersey's hot dog institutions isn't sparing the sauerkraut (or the horse manure) when it comes to a competitor five miles away.
Rutt's Hut in Clifton has filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against the owners of Mutt's Hut. The world waits in a state of suspended animus as the great wiener war is launched in New Jersey, current Mafia capital of the U.S.
Claiming the mutts at Mutt's Hut are stealing their good name, slandering their reputation, besmirching their product and swiping their customers, the Rutts at Rutt's Hut have hired some of New York's top legal guns to send the Mutts packing and restore the dignity of the real Rutt dog.
The Rutt family and their dogs are a Garden State institution, stretching back 83 years, whereas the upstart owners of Mutt's, who are of Arabic origin, are accused of encroaching on the Rutt's territory.
Rutt's, which is known for "ripper dogs," that are fried in lard until the skin rips open, revealing the fatty guts of the dogs, claims Mutt's it trying to capitalize on the 83-year-old restaurant's reputation.
Mutt's changed its name from Adam's Bagel & Deli in January.
Ahmed Mohamed, believed to be Muslim, who is the son of Mutt's co-owner, told The Record newspaper they changed the name because a co-owner had held a trademark on it since 2006 and wanted to use it.
Attorney Gregg Paradise, who represents Rutt's with a straight face, says there's evidence that customers are confused about whether the restaurants are affiliated, allegedly not being able to distinguish between a Mutt and a Rutt, despite the many burqas and prayer rugs and customers prostrating themselves facing Mecca to be found at Mutt's during Muslim prayer hours.