A New Hampshire company is suing Doordash and GrubHub for using their logos and menus on their websites and apps without a business relationship with the company. Great New Hampshire Restaurants, LLC, a management and marketing company for seven restaurants in New Hampshire represented by Rath Young & Pignatelli, seeks a permanent injunction and damages, including the profits the companies made through its restaurants.
“Doordash’s unauthorized use of the Unregistered GNHR Marks in connection with its food delivery services constitutes a false designation of origin, a false or misleading description of fact, and/or false or misleading representation of fact, and has caused and is likely to cause confusion, mistake, and/or deception as to the affiliation, connection or association of GNHR with Doordash, the origin, sponsorship or approval of Doordash’s use of the Unregistered GNHR Marks, and the nature, characteristics, or qualities of services offered by Doordash,” the complaint against Doordash alleges.
In addition to allowing restaurants to partner with them, Doordash and GrubHub will use a restaurant’s website or menu to add more options to their service without consulting the restaurant. This can lead to discrepancies in the menus between the restaurant and the options available on the delivery app. GNHR claims they often do not know whether a customer is a delivery driver or a direct customer. If the restaurant is not partnered with Doordash, the customer will pay Doordash and a driver will go to the restaurant and order and pay for the food similar to any other customer. Drivers are given a prepaid card to use to purchase the order. Grubhub works similarly.
Because it has no control over the food after it is taken by the driver, including the length of delivery or adherence to health and sanitary codes, GNHR claims this alleged infringement could damage their business’ reputation and cause irreparable damages. The complaint says GNHR has received complaints from customers believing it is responsible for the delivery company’s services. “Doordash places GNHR at risk for customer complaints, which would substantially damage GNHR’s business reputation, and would result in irreparable damages and financial loss,” the complaint says.
Great New Hampshire Restaurants claims their trademarked logos and large investments in advertising have helped the public in New Hampshire and surrounding states recognize the restaurants and their quality. They allege Doordash and GrubHub are using these efforts to help its business with advertising for the restaurants on their websites and apps.
According to the complaint, neither delivery company has removed the restaurants from its service despite multiple requests from the plaintiff to do so. It additionally alleges use of the trademarked logos is “intentionally and willfully meant to confuse and mislead consumers as to Doordash’s affiliation” with the company.