ROCKLAND — A Main Street restaurant plans to reopen next month after shutting down because of a legal challenge to its name.
Broken Egg closed temporarily last month after its owner, Heather Symmt, received notices from a law firm representing the restaurant chain Another Broken Egg, which is based in Destin, Florida.
Another Broken Egg claimed that Rockland’s Broken Egg was infringing on the chain’s trademark.
The Rockland Broken Egg opened in May. Symmt moved to the area from Texas a month before that after working the previous 20 years as an accountant.
Symmt said she received a notice on March 17 from a law firm that represents Another Broken Egg. That was followed by a March 22 letter from the same firm demanding that Broken Egg stop using the name, which Another Broken Egg had trademarked through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Another Broken Egg had 34 restaurants as of June 2014, according to its website. The closest one to Maine is in Durham, North Carolina, which is 873 miles from Rockland.
Symmt said she closed the restaurant a week after receiving the notice, saying that legally Another Broken Egg has the right to object to her use of the name. She said, however, that she was offended by the letter’s insinuation that she was trying to take advantage of Another Broken Egg’s reputation.
Symmt said she came up with Broken Egg after brainstorming one night.
“I’m a small, independent shop. My menu is not close to their menu. My logo is not close to their logo,” she said.
The letter stated that she is prohibited from using Broken Egg, Broke Egg, Break the Egg, and Another Broken Egg.
Symmt said she decided to temporarily close to give herself time to choose a new name for the restaurant and get new menus, a new sign and new social media pages. She said she also still has T-shirts with Broken Egg on them.
“I’ve got a few mediums left if anyone is interested,” she said.
The cost of changes will be a few thousand dollars, Symmt said, in addition to the lost business during the shutdown.
Symmt said she will talk with a small group of creative people in the area to come up with a new name. She said she will also have a trademark search conducted.
The temporary closure came at a good time, however, since March and April are slower months for restaurants. Symmt said her goal is to have the restaurant at 421 Main St. reopened by May 18, which would be the first anniversary of when Broken Egg opened.
Another Broken Egg could not be reached for comment.