PORTLAND —  The owners of Tao Restaurant in Brunswick are demanding a jury trial in the trademark infringement lawsuit that the owners of large New York and Las Vegas nightclubs have filed against them.

TAO Licensing LLC, a Delaware-based company that runs TAO New York and TAO Las Vegas, sued the family-run Maine restaurant last month in U.S. District Court. TAO Licensing argues that the the Brunswick restaurant is free-riding on its goodwill. TAO Licensing claiming trademark dilution, unfair competition and cybersquatting, among other things.

In a response filed Thursday, the Maine restaurant argues that there is no likelihood that consumers in Brunswick would confuse Tao Restaurant with the New York and Las Vegas nightclubs, whose websites tout their “hip/hop techno music and scantily clad employees and patrons.”

Its response also notes that the “tao” in the restaurant’s  name means peach and it is represented by a different Chinese character than the “tao” of TAO Licensing, which translates to “the way.”


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