Sunday, March 9, 2014
Despite the fact that their attorneys in Portland and New York City said they had a strong case, the Stadler family, owners of the nearly-one-year-old Tao in Brunswick, has settled with TAO Licensing LLC and agreed to change their restaurant's name to Tao Yuan.
In a David vs. Goliath case, TAO, which operates huge nightclubs featuring throbbing music and pole dancers in NYC and Las Vegas, sued, serene 40-seat Tao in Maine claiming "trademark dilution and infringement, unfair competition and cybersquatting." Chef Cara Stadler, who owns the restaurant with her parents John and Cecile, said the family agreed to the name change because they were too busy running the restaurant and preparing for an expansion next winter, to put the time and energy into fighting a lawsuit. In addition, she "may or may not be doing a TV show - it's a quick competition thing," said Stadler, who couldn't discuss further details.
Nancy Heiser gave Tao a nearly perfect raiting, 4 1/2 stars, in a review in the Jan. 6, 2013 Portland Press Herald.
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Meredith Goad has harvested oysters on the Chesapeake Bay, eaten reindeer in Finland and sipped hot chai in the Himalayas. She writes the weekly Soup to Nuts column and enjoys a good cocktail.