Chicken Licken loses 'soul' copyright case
Chicken Licken has been denied sole use of the word ‘soul’ in the context of restaurants, having failed to convince the SCA that a smaller competitor was sowing confusion.
Yesterday the SCA dismissed an appeal by Chicken Licken's corporate owner, Golden Fried Chicken, in its attempt to shut down the use of that word by Soul Souvlaki, a ‘Greek street food’ that went from a market stall to a container store, and which now has nine stores around Johannesburg.
Business Insider reports that Soul Souvlaki has been using that name since 2012, but Chicken Licken has claimed a trademark on ‘soul’ since 1994, and registered ‘soul food’ in 2001.
Its advertising has long referred to food with soul. When the matter made it to the SCA, Chicken Licken pressed its claim to the word ‘soul’ rather than ‘soul food’.
The court said that ‘soul’ and ‘Soul Souvlaki’ are clearly not the same thing, which means that, under SA law, the question is whether potential buyers would be confused.
Chicken Licken was ordered to pay Soul Souvlaki's costs, and both can now continue to use the word ‘soul’.
Article disclaimer: While we have made every effort to ensure the accuracy of this article, it is not intended to provide final legal advice as facts and situations will differ from case to case, and therefore specific legal advice should be sought with a lawyer.