MIAMI – In a legal battle between two sports bars, one retained the right to use a popular name and logo.
In his Sept. 29 order, Judge Jose E. Martinez of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida granted a preliminary injunction barring Sanbar Bay LLC from calling its bar in Cutler Bay, the Sandbar Sports Grill.
Cane’s Bar & Grill of South Florida already has a bar called Sandbar Sports Grill in Coconut Grove.
Before opening up the Cutler Bay bar, Alberto Borrero and Joseph Longo owned an interest in the Coconut Grove sports bar. After selling their interest to Cane's owner, Michael Scott Perrin, they opened the competing establishment.
In addition to the name, the two bars' logos have a similar life preserver motif.
According to court documents, Longo claims he signed a document giving him permission to use the "Sandbar" name outside of a 10-mile radius of the Coconut Grove establishment.
Perrin argues he "experienced a drop of between 20 to 40 percent in the number of posts and marking images seen by customers" on his social media when the competing bar opened. He also worried any negative publicity by the other bar might impact him.
In the order, Martinez found Perrin's sandbar name and logo "deserve the most trademark protection." In addition, he said there was evidence Longo and Borrero intended to use Perrin's establishment's reputation to benefit them.
The court will issue a separate order enforcing the preliminary injunction.