Larry King bagel company sued over 'patented water'

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Larry King bagel company sued over 'patented water'

Mon Sep 20, 2010 @ 01:24PM PST


Larry-king-bagel
By Eriq Gardner

A new lawsuit answers three great questions:

  1. What is TV and radio personality Larry King up to now that he's bowing to Piers Morgan as host of a nightly CNN talk show?
  2. Why can't we get a good bagel outside of Brooklyn?
  3. Can you patent a process for making water?
Obviously, the answers are connected.

In July, King signed on with the Original Brooklyn Water Bagel Co. as a franchisee and brand promoter. The company specializes in selling bagels prepared in water adapted to replicate the H2O of Brooklyn, N.Y. King would promote the brand and help develop the budding chain's stores throughout the world, including, for those crying "dough" over the lack of tasty bagels in La-La Land, a store opening in Beverly Hills.

However, the enterprise has already run into legal trouble.

Mamma Mia's Trattoria, a pizzeria chain based in Lake Worth, Florida, is now suing OBWB for false patent marking. The plaintiff claims that Larry King's new company has falsely advertised a "14-step patented process" to replicate "patented water." 

Here's the complaint, filed in U.S. District Court in Florida. Yes, that's right -- the company claims to have bottled its own patented water.

Mamma Mia's alleges that OBWB doesn't actually own any patents. Nevertheless, the company claims that OBWB threatened it with a lawsuit, presumably for selling New York-style pizza in the outerlands.

The complaint says that OBWB has sold more than 100,000 bagels using more than 15,000 bottles of water, each allegedly falsely advertising that the bagels are based on "patented technology." Damages? $500 per offense or $1 million in total. Yes, lots of dough.

(Hat tip to Docket Navigator for bringing this to our attention. The website has excellent resources on the growing number of false patent-marking cases.)

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The Hollywood Reporter
The Hollywood Reporter, Esq. blog focuses on how the entertainment and media industries are impacted and influenced by the law. It is edited by Matthew Belloni with contributions from veteran legal reporter Eriq Gardner and others. Before joining The Hollywood Reporter, Belloni was a lawyer at an entertainment litigation firm in Los Angeles. He writes a column for THR devoted to entertainment law. Gardner is a New York-based writer and legal journalist. Send tips or comments to Matthew.Belloni@thr.com

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