Nearly a year after they were sued for trademark infringement by owners of the behemoth TAO nightclubs in Manhattan and Las Vegas the proprietors of tiny Tao in Brunswick have agreed to change the restaurant's name to Tao Yuan. "The family agreed to settle with Delaware-based restaurant chain TAO Licensing LLC last week despite what she called 'a very strong case,'" according to the Bangor Daily News. Chef Cara Stadler, who owns the Maine Tao with her parents Cecile and John, told Eater this morning that she and her family "just don't have the time and energy to deal with it." Especially with the possibility of a competition cooking TV show on the horizon, the details of which the chef could not reveal.
If we went to court we'd be in depositions at the height of the summer. Time is so valuable to me. I spend so much of it working – I don't need to give more of it away than I want to.When the family first heard from the big Tao, shortly after they opened last June, her father spoke with them and suggested they come to an agreement without spending a lot of money on lawyers, she said.
Legally they have to defend their trademark. Them sending us a cease and desist letter is a logical progression, but the unwillingness to deal with it when we first opened – that makes no sense to me. That's where I'm at a loss. They spent a lot of money on lawyers and now we spent a year of branding our name. The whole thing is dumb.
· NY, Vegas TAOs say Maine Tao Hijacked Their Name [~EMAINE~]
· Brunswick Restaurant Agrees To Change Name To Settle Suit. [BDN]
· All Coverage of Tao [~EMAINE~]
[Photo: Tao Maine]