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To Avoid Litigation, Forge Agrees to Change Name

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Marc Forgione and Christopher Blumlo , the owners of Tribeca's six month-old Forge (Forgione's nickname), have agreed to change their restaurant's name to avoid litigation with the famed Miami restaurant The Forge. The Observer reports that Shareef Malnik, owner of The Forge, brought a case to U.S. District Court charging the pair with six counts of trademark infringement:

“'If my nickname was McDonald’s, I can’t just open a McDonald’s,' said Mr. Malnik, who registered a federal trademark on the term 'forge' for restaurant purposes back in 1996. '...You can’t open a restaurant on somebody else’s coattails. It’s just not legal.'”

For his part, Forgione simply didn't think anyone would care: “I Googled ‘Forge’ three years ago...But I never in a million years thought that a restaurant in Miami would give a shit." After Malnik rejected Forgione's offer to change the name to "Forge by Marc Forgione", he and Blumlo agreed to change their signage, website, and all other materials by February 1. While the precedents set last year by the Patsy's in New York and the Wolfgang Puck vs. Wolfgang Zwiener fracas in LA don't prove that these kind of lawsuits are always successful, Forgione gave in out of a fear of the expense: "Our attorneys originally said you could push well over $100,000 easy if you fight all these charges..."
· Forging an Identity [NYO]
· All Forge Coverage [~E~]
· BREAKING: Wolfgang Files Lawsuit Against Wolfgang's [~ELA~]

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