Food Trucks

Miss Cheesious and Ms. Cheesy: Trademark Theft or Cheesy Coincidence?

If you looked at the headline and thought that Short Order was in serious need of a spell checker, think again.

According to the website Buffalo.com, there's a food truck about to serve grilled cheese and soups in the football-obsessed city of Buffalo, New York -- and it has nothing to do with Ms. Cheezious in Miami.


Miss Cheesious has a February target date to roll out and serve toasted

cheese sandwiches to the good people of Buffalo. She's also got a Twitter and Facebook page set up.

At

first, we thought that this could all be coincidence -- after all,

Buffalo is as far as you can get from Miami in both geography and

mindset -- until you notice that Buffalo owner Alexis Andrzejak is

ordering her food truck from Miami Trailer, Inc.The fact that

she's ordering the truck from a Miami-based food truck retailer makes it

seem like the truck name is not so random.

Another food truck, Ms. Cheesy

in Wilmington, North Carolina, which is set to roll out this week,

features a reclining woman eating a cheese sandwich. Though not as sexy

as Ms. Cheezious in a polka dotted bikini, there's an obvious

similarity.


Then there's Roxy's in Boston. Though the name is completely different, there's also a girl mascot. According to Boston.com, Roxy's opened in March 2011 and competed in the second season of The Great Food Truck Race.


We're not sure whether it's the connection between calling a pretty

girl's picture cheesecake or whether grilled cheese is just plain old

sexy, but that's a lot of cheesy girls.

The Miami food truck scene has been tweeting like crazy in

support of the Miami Ms. Cheezious. Sugar Rush, Miami Food Trucks, and

Grill Master Cafe have all commented on the truck-naming coincidence.

Tom Heneghen of Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek S.C., trademark attorney for Ms. Cheezious, told Short Order that the name Ms. Cheezious was registered as a federal trademark in the field of mobile food

trucks. A trademark registration is used basically to prevent the public from

being confused when purchasing a company's products. The trademark ensures that people will not buy an inferior or counterfeit product because of a too-similar name or logo. Luxury goods companies like Chanel and Louis Vuitton take trademarking very seriously. Apparently, so does the food truck industry.

Heneghen said that he has contacted Ms. Cheesy, who also pulled photos from the Ms. Cheezious website, about changing her truck's name and logo. He has not yet contacted Miss Cheesious because he just found out what's happening.

Heneghen said that his first course of action is to make these companies aware of the trademark infringements and hope they simply change their names and logos. If that doesn't work, he'll discuss the next step with his clients.

Short Order has reached out to both Miss Cheesious and Ms. Cheesy. We'll update you if we speak to either food truck owners.

Follow Short Order on Facebook and Twitter @Short_Order.

KEEP MIAMI NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Laine Doss is the food and spirits editor for Miami New Times. She has been featured on Cooking Channel's Eat Street and Food Network's Great Food Truck Race. She won an Alternative Weekly award for her feature about what it's like to wait tables.
Contact: Laine Doss