In-N-Out, the burger chain we here at The Takeout love to hate, is once again showing its true colors and giving us reason to keep on hating. Michigan-based newspaper The Daily Telegram reports that the fast food giant is trying to take down one of the little guys, suing local burger joint Doll n’ Burgers for infringing on the signature look of the restaurant.
The look in question? In-N-Out seems to mostly take issue with the use of white, red, and yellow in the design, citing things like the “white cups with red graphics” as proof of some kind of intellectual theft. Because, ya know, no restaurant other than In-N-Out has ever used that color palette in their branding, oh, except for McDonald’s and Burger King and Five Guys and Sonic and Steak ‘n Shake and Checkers and Carl’s Jr. and the list really goes on and on.
The lawsuit argues that there’s a 49.3% chance people will confuse Doll n’ Burgers with In-N-Out based on its design and the use of the “n” in its name. It’s important to note that Doll n’ Burgers has just two locations—one in Jackson, Michigan, and another in Tecumseh, Michigan—while In-N-Out has hundreds, none of which are in Michigan. In fact, about 1,000 miles separate Doll n’ Burgers from the nearest In-N-Out. I don’t think anyone would be confused by that.
Another detail cited in court filings was that the owners of the Michigan restaurants had, in fact, visited an In-N-Out before, as if simply walking into one of the most popular fast food chains in the country is an act of espionage. Overall, In-N-Out’s argument seems thin at best, and extremely petty and villainous at worst. Maybe if the company put the energy it’s funneling into this lawsuit into, I don’t know say, adhering to COVID restrictions, they’d be in a few more folks’ good graces.
Until then, who wants to go on a road trip to Michigan? I hear they have a hell of a burger there.