DuetsBlog Collaborations in Creativity & the Law

Inherently Distinctive Restaurant Interior?

Posted in Branding, Domain Names, Food, Marketing, Non-Traditional Trademarks, Sight, Trademarks

We recently focused our attention on a very unique-looking, dare I say distinctive, retail store exterior design; for a quick reminder, see here.

The recent craze for self-serve frozen yogurt shops – where you pay by the ounce (or perhaps, by the pound), has us focused today on a pretty darn unique interior retail environment:

This is one of the most interesting self-serve frozen yogurt shops to hit the Twin Cities market — a small retail chain called [yo]gurt(lab) — note the all lower case brand type style, apparently not to be confused with these folks, who appear to own a federal service mark registration for YOGURTLAB. (Note the earlier March 30, 2011 nationwide priority date associated with the federal service mark registration for YOGURTLAB, as compared to the later May 16, 2011 registration date for [yo]gurt(lab)’s active domain name, begging the question of priority to trademark types).

And, while the indecipherable equations on the chalkboard and the hanging faux oval-shaped magnet are certainly eye-catching, as a former registered pharmacist, I’ll have to say, I especially love the creativity of the “periodic table of flavors” (more all lower case type, again):

So, putting aside the pink-elephant-in-the-room question about priority of rights, does this frozen-yogurt restaurant interior strike you as sufficiently unique to presume that consumers will perceive the trade dress as not merely ornamental, but serving as a single brand signal too?

Without the benefit of any relevant trade dress research to review (that might teach otherwise), it certainly strikes me as having strong potential for inherently distinctive trade dress, do you agree?