New York-Based Major Food Group Hit With Trademark Infringement Lawsuit By Revered Dallas Restaurant Carbone’s

Law Firm Press Release

DALLASJune 2, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Carbone’s Fine Food and Wine, a mainstay of the Dallas restaurant scene for more than a decade and fondly known as Carbone’s, has filed litigation against New York-based Carbone Restaurant, which does business as Carbone and recently opened in Dallas on the same street about two miles away from Carbone’s.

Chef Julian Barsotti launched Carbone’s in 2011. He operates the beloved and venerable Italian-American restaurant along with four other local favorites: Nona, Fachini and his most recent eatery, Odelay.

The Major Food Group LLC, and its principals Mario CarboneRich Torrisi and Jeff Zalaznick, are the force behind Carbone, which is identical in name to Carbone’s—minus the apostrophe s—and also serves up Italian-American cuisine. These glaring similarities form the basis of Carbone’s state and federal trademark infringement and unfair competition case against The Major Food Group, Carbone Restaurant LLC and Carbone Café LLC.

According to Barsotti, “Carbone’s is named, and its logo is modeled after a restaurant and grocery that my great-grandfather, Angelo Carbone, opened in New Jersey back in 1941.”

Just like the Carbone’s of old, Barsotti’s restaurant features a retail element, offering customers a variety of shelf-stable items and refrigerated homemade specialties like Barsotti’s Sunday Gravy, sausages, meatballs and filled pastas.

Despite the history Barsotti has forged with Carbone’s, and the rave reviews and loyal following that have come along with it, Major Food Group’s launch of East Coast transplant Carbone has caused widespread confusion, as reflected in the local press, Yelp reviews, customers, vendors, and even the City of Dallas.

It is this confusion—which also extends to the supermarket, where Carbone is selling pasta sauces advertised with Carbone’s exact name and logo (including the apostrophe s)—that is central to Carbone’s litigation.

Matthew Yarbrough, a partner at the Dallas office of Michelman & Robinson, LLP, represents Carbone’s Dallas in the lawsuit filed today (June 1) in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas. He explains, “Major Food Group’s ‘NY Carbone,” which is brand new to Dallas, is purposefully attempting to trade on Carbone’s name, goodwill and hard-earned reputation to confuse local customers on both the restaurant and retail fronts. It’s doing so even though Major Food Group knows that my client, Carbone’s Dallas, owns a superior common law right to its trademark in Texas, which Chef Barsotti began using first as early as 2011.”

This was made clear to the management of Major Food Group back in December 2021, when it received a cease-and-desist letter sent by Yarbrough, Carbone’s Dallas legal counsel. Nonetheless, New York Carbone started hosting diners at its Dallas location in April and recently began selling its pasta sauces in Central Market.

By way of its district court complaint, Carbone’s Dallas seeks to prohibit Major Food Group’s continued use of the name Carbone in Texas. Carbone’s Dallas is also suing for monetary damages and the cancellation of the trademark for Carbone Restaurant that is owned by The Major Food Group and was registered by the U.S. Trademark Office in 2013, well after Carbone’s Dallas first began using its mark.

About Michelman & Robinson, LLP
M&R is a national law firm headquartered in Los Angeles, with additional offices in Orange County (California), San FranciscoDallasHoustonChicago and New York City. The firm represents clients in a host of practice areas, such as complex and class action litigation, as well as employment, corporate & securities, insurance regulatory, cybersecurity, privacy, intellectual property, real estate and bankruptcy law. It does so for individuals and entities across industries, including advertising & digital media, banking & financial services, cannabis, energy, hospitality, insurance, music & entertainment, retail & apparel, sports and technology. For more information, please visit www.mrllp.com.

SOURCE Michelman & Robinson, LLP