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White Tower System Inc. v. White Castle System of Eating Houses Corp.

May 4, 1937

WHITE TOWER SYSTEM, INC.,
v.
WHITE CASTLE SYSTEM OF EATING HOUSES CORPORATION



Appeal from the District Court of the United States for the Eastern District of Michigan; Edward J. Moinet, Judge.

Author: Allen

Before HICKS, SIMONS, and ALLEN, Circuit Judges.

ALLEN, Circuit Judge.

This appeal deals with the question whether one who has substantially appropriated a trade name and advertising slogan and has knowingly imitated a building of peculiar style, with knowledge of their previous use in the same business by another, can enjoin the originator from using its own style of building, trade name and slogan in territory in which the junior user first operated, and whether the originator in turn can enjoin the junior user from such use.

Appellant filed its bill of complaint, seeking relief from alleged unfair competition. Appellee filed a cross-bill, seeking similar relief. The cause was referred to a special master, who filed a report recommending that a decree be entered in favor of appellee. The District Court confirmed the master's report, made findings of fact and conclusions of law, and permanently enjoined appellant as prayed in the crosspetition.

Both parties operate stands for the sale of hamburger sandwiches and other food products in Detroit, Michigan, each using a white structure designed like a miniature castle. As each party pleads that the names, types of buildings and advertising slogans are so similar as to mislead and deceive the public, ...


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