It’s a classic case of name-calling that has led to an all-out dogfight.
Rutt’s Hut, a longtime hot dog spot in Clifton, has filed suit against another city eatery, Mutt’s Hut, for trademark violation over its name.
Mutt’s, which is located on Broad Street five miles away from Rutt’s, changed its name from Adam’s Bagel & Deli in January because its co-owner Ed Madsen held a trademark on it since 2006 and wanted to use it, the Record reported.
Meanwhile, Rutt’s owner Gus Crisafinis, who has held a trademark on his establishment’s name since 1985, is claiming that customers may be confused by the similar names and that Mutt’s is trying to capitalize on Rutt’s reputation.
The suit said, in part, that the trademark violation “has damaged the goodwill and reputation of Rutt’s Hut and damaged its business.”
Crisafinis has declined comment and referred questioning to his attorney, Gregg A. Paradise.
Ahmed Mohamed, son of Mutt’s co-owner Magdi Mohamed, said he feels the suit is “ridiculous,” and that customers will know the difference based on Rutt’s TV commercials and long-standing reputation.
Rutt’s Hut is widely known for its “ripper” hot dogs, which are cooked in deep fat until the skin rips open. It is also popular for its signature “secret” relish recipe.
Mutt’s Hut also sells hot dogs (not deep fried) and other food items and will be adding pizza to its menu in the near future, Ahmed Mohamed said.