- Published: 15 November 2015
In Doctors Associates Inc. v. Surfway, a riptide of C&D letters, and an administrative infringement action was needed to confirm the removal of the infringing SURFWAY restaurant in one of Ecuador's main surf villages, Montañita.
Doctors Associates Inc became the most important food chain in Ecuador after opening more than 50 restaurants through franchisees. However, a local sandwich restaurant in one of the country's main surf beaches was cleverly called "Surfway."
Several investigations and C&D letters were sent to the chain of owners with little success. An administrative infringement proceeding was started before the Ecuadorian IP Office stating the client's rights, the clear risk of association between the marks that were being used in connection with the same goods and services. The IP Office reviewed the petition and ordered an inspection to be conducted with the help of the local police enforcement.
The name of the restaurant has finally been changed and all the infringing signs and material have been wiped out.