Basta! Mangia Italiano Slaps Mangia Mobile With Lawsuit [Updated]

Categories: This Just In
mangiamobile11.jpg
Photo by Robin Wheeler
Food-dealer and defendant: Mangia Mobile gets sued by Mangia Italiano
After months of legal wrangling, Mangia Italiano (3145 South Grand Blvd; 314-664-8585), the 28-year-old Italian restaurant on South Grand, is now suing the unaffiliated food truck, Mangia Mobile.

According to the petition, filed Thursday in St. Louis City Circuit Court, the four-wheeled newcomer has harmed the reputation of the brick-and-mortar eatery by having a "deceptively similar" name while selling "food products of a significantly lower quality and variety." This "causes confusion," while in fact the two companies have nothing to do with each other.

And therein lies the conflict: Some folks are confused about who owns what -- including Alive magazine, which erroneously reported in March that the truck belonged to the South Grand eatery.

In reality, Mangia Mobile belongs to three young siblings: Catherine, Thomas and Alex Daake. Inspired by their Sicilian grandmother, Macaw, their on-the-go menu includes sandwiches, toasted ravioli and arancini (described as "The Street Food of Sicily, deep-fried riceballs filled with pulled chicken, hamburger and mozzarella").

On March 16, the Daakes received a cease-and-desist letter from the restaurant's attorney, who requested they "revise" their marketing strategy (read the letter here). The siblings didn't immediately respond, so a week-and-a-half later, the attorney hand-delivered a copy to the food truck.

The Daakes then got their own attorney and agreed to affix a disclaimer sign to their vehicle denying any connection to Mangia Italiano (read the response here).

The restaurant, it appears, was not satisfied.

Evanti, the parent company of Mangia Italiano and the plaintiff in this case, is asking the court for a permanent injunction, actual damages and punitive damages. Allegations in the complaint include unfair competition and trademark infringement.

Nota bene, this ain't a federal dispute. Evanti actually applied for a federal trademark for the name "Mangia Italiano" in March but got denied. Their legal action is "common-law trademark infringement" under Missouri law.

Alongside the petition, Evanti has also filed a handful of affidavits from Mangia Italiano owners Collier Evans and James Bonsanti, who claim that confusion reigns among vendors, customersand even the restaurant's own servers. One server signed a statement, recounting how she herself believed the truck was an arm of her restaurant.

The matter is styled Evantigroup, LLC v. Mangia Mobile LLC; Case Number: 1122-CC08862.

---

Update: (Monday, July 25, 3:44 p.m.) Mangia Mobile addressed the lawsuit on Twitter shortly after this article was posted. -- Ian

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Location Info

Mangia Italiano

3145 S. Grand Blvd., St. Louis, MO

Category: Music


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63 comments
Jeanne Gantz Merenda
Jeanne Gantz Merenda

Its so obvious how many of the brick and mortar joint have made comments on here......Bless their hearts...............  just a shame it had to come to a law suit

longlivemcdowells
longlivemcdowells

Lawyers.....Yawn.

Stags Leap Winery, Stags Leap Wine Cellars. Bocci, Bici.  Giovannis, Gios. Tony's, Tony's on Main.  Gian-Tony's, Gian-Fabios- No need to be rightgeous and point out the difference between Tony and Fabio.  Still. 

Settle it in a way to promote the two of you in a better way.  A charity event........winner takes the name.  Keep the lawyers for fixing red light tickets. 

lois
lois

this is insanity. anyone who defends mangiamobile's usurping "mangia" to run their business AS A COMPETITOR is stupid. the point is, you do not start up a competing business that has the same (or even unreasonably close) name as another established business. mangiamobile is riding off of mangia's reputation-- mangia warned them not to use their name and their decision to blatantly ignore the warning is a pretty good sign they knew full well what they were doing. or worse, they're just as dumb as the rest of you who think it's okay. it's deliberately misleading the customer and they're trying to benefit off it. nobody cares if you like their rav the best, it's still unethical business practice and that's the bottom line.

StinkyCheese
StinkyCheese

Mangia Mobile is mobile, but I'd never "mangia" there again. Horrible food.

matt f
matt f

e r i c a: you're regurgitating the same tired argument that 'mangia is an incredibly common word' So by your logic, I can open up a McDonalds Mobile or Chilis Mobile or even Chimichanga Mobile and expect not to be sued? Boy I'm glad you're not presiding over this case. Furthermore, there is no other business, and certainly no restaurant, in the bi-state area that uses the word Mangia. If the case can be won on the confusion factor alone, the truck kids don't stand a chance. And why shouldn't the 3-decade-old local restaurant be allowed to protect its brand? Nearly everyone I know was confused by this, even up until a few days ago.

billstreeter
billstreeter

Trade Mark Law 101: if you don't actively defend your mark you lose it. I happen to like both establishments but Mangia Italiano was using the mark first in St. Louis and I can attest to the fact that I was confused when I saw the food truck--I assumed it was Mangia Italiano. Not sure what the Daake's were thinking when they choose that name, seems like it wouldn't have been too much trouble to come up with something more original. If Mangia lets it stand they risk the mark becoming generic and lots of local restaurants could use the name and they could loose any unique brand identity in the marketplace. It seems like a pretty open and shut case to me.

removeyourpants
removeyourpants

Why in the actual hell are people defending Mangia for suing? MANGIA is an incredibly common word and it's very common in restaurant names. I'm sorry you can't get out of your St. Louis bubble where only one restaurant can be associated with a common word, but lets get real here. If you're going to sue over mangia then I guess the restaurants that contain the word "diner" in their name should all start suing each other because it's the same damn thing. 

msj
msj

Still waiting for someone to explain why Mangia is not allowed to protect its brand while other restaurants with equally 'common' names can and do all the time?

cgbrown75
cgbrown75

Someone mentioned the fact that "Panera" means breadbasket in Spanish. If there was a Panera Mobile food truck selling sandwiches what do you think the restaurant would do? 

 The word "Pi" is the radius of a circle...common word...If there was a Pi food truck driving around selling pizza that was not affiliated with the restaurant what would happen? The potential for damage is incredible

Jeanne Gantz Merenda
Jeanne Gantz Merenda

There Should be a law against bullying - cannot believe some of this hate being spewed! Keep your chin up and carry on Mangia Mobile

SLUzerhigh
SLUzerhigh

Isn't there a pasta company called Mangia Pasta (good stuff by the way)? Are they also being sued in this case by Mangia Italiano?

guest
guest

"...my clients believe that any litigation arising out of this matter will ultimately prove to be interesting public fodder during the lifetime of the litigation."

So sayeth the Mangia Mobile lawyer. And from the comments appearing here, it seems at least they are keeping their family amused.

TimDavis
TimDavis

 trat·to·ri·a/ˌträtəˈrēə/Noun: An Italian restaurant serving simple food

Local Trattorias -

Trattoria BranicaTrattoria MarcellaTrattoria Toscana

Mangia!" means "Eat!" when your telling someone to do it

Local Businesses with the word Mangia

Mangia PastaMangia ItalianoMangia DeliMangia MobileMangia.NetMangia Bene

This seems like a waste of everyone's time and a stupid thing to be arguing over, I go for the food and the service, don't care about the name and people are dumb if these Italian words confuse them.

Dr.Racanelli
Dr.Racanelli

 As a fan of the restaurant and the truck as well as a true Italian, this is disappointing. I am a second generation Italian and can't tell you how many times this word is thrown around when it comes to food. I can't believe anyone thinks they own the right to the word Mangia, it is part of the Italian food culture and belongs to all Italians! Shame on anyone who doesn't support the continued growth of Italian culture and has the ego to think they own a piece of it!

JCWE
JCWE

Whether or not there is legal standing, why would Mangia Mobile WANT to continually be confused with Mangia Italiano?  Mangia Italiano has been a fixture in St. Louis for decades.  If, as the Daakes insist,"mangia" is a generic word, then why are is that name so special to them?  Don't they want to create their own identity?  Don't they get tired of constantly correcting people who assume they are one in the same?  It seems like the easiest resolution would be to simply change the name of Mangia Mobile to something less generic and more distinguishable.  Everybody's happy.  Business 101.

Of course, maybe this publicity is exactly what they want.

Bob
Bob

Panera means breadbasket in Spanish. I wonder If I would be sued if I started a sandwich truck called Panera Moble. I thinks so. 

Eric
Eric

Personally, I think it's poor form that they ran with such a similar name (yes, it's a common Italian verb, but let's be serious, how many first-generation Italian ex-pats or scholars of the Italian language do we have running around this city?), and in turn, it's poor form that one of Tower Grove's favorite bars and eateries is suing about it.

Really, do you know what the correct answer to this is? Mangia Italiano has had the name for decades, and as a food truck, Mangia Mobile's fans are connecting to it via Twitter and Facebook anyway and will likely be well aware of any name change. Change the name to something identifiably similar but legally distinct. The Cup (The Cupcakery) and Il Bel Lago (Cafe Bellagio) survived. Alive aside, I don't think that there was a single local article or blog post written when the food truck started that didn't have to go out of their way to mention that the two businesses are unrelated, and I would bet that there was scarcely a reader of any of them that didn't read the headline about Mangia Mobile and initially assume that Mangia Italiano was unexpectedly hopping on the food truck bandwagon.

So work it out and cool it down, you two. I still want my mushroom ravioli with smoked tomato cream sauce and arancini alike, and I don't especially care what you call the places selling them to me so long as I can keep the two of them straight, capisce?

Cgubb
Cgubb

Is there really a restaurant out there wanting the exclusive rights to the word MANGA? This would be like saying there can only be one 'cafe', only one 'steak house'...and what about the thousands of restaurants with the word BURGER. Are you kidding me?Don't have much exposure to either but seems to me Manga Italiano has eaten some sour grapes.MI should get a life, operate on their own merit then trust their product will pull.Why must they attack...are they that insecure about their own client base?Like

Cgubb
Cgubb

Is there really a restaurant out there wanting the exclusive rights to the word MANGA? This would be like saying there can only be one 'cafe', only one 'steak house'...and what about the thousands of restaurants with the word BURGER. Are you kidding me?Don't have much exposure to either but seems to me Manga Italiano has eaten some sour grapes.Get a life, operate on your own merit then trust your product will pull.Why must you attack...are you that insecure about your own client base?

your mom's mom
your mom's mom

How many members of the Daake family are in this comment section?

cgbrown75
cgbrown75

I guess I'm an idiot too! I totally thought they were the same until I just read this. Good for them for trying to protect their livelyhood

Pt
Pt

"One server signed a statement, recounting how she herself believed the truck was an arm of her restaurant." That works in court?  Ask her who the Governor of Missouri is.

BobSwerski
BobSwerski

Strange, Stinky. I had heard great things about their food at Food Truck Friday. (I only managed to make it to Seoul Taco - very good btw).So does this mean that Italiano Mobile is out for a suggested name change?? lol

Jeanne Gantz Merenda
Jeanne Gantz Merenda

I can see your point if they had named it Mangia Italiano Mobile - but since that is not the name just can't see the comparison.... different logo to boot

jillyph
jillyph

What now?  Who's a bully?  You think some of the comments on this article should be illegal?  Oh dear. 

Bill Burge
Bill Burge

Mangia Italiano is the maker of the pasta you see around town (farmers' markets, Whole Foods, Local Harvest, etc)

Eric
Eric

Mangia Pasta is Mangia Italiano's pasta-making arm for local distribution, Mangia Deli is in New Jersey, Mangia Bene is the name of a handful of restaurants in other states, and Mangia.Net is neither St. Louisan nor a restaurant/deli. This leaves Mangia Italiano's two operating names and Mangia Mobile. I'm not sure that I get your point. 

It's like the difference between having a bunch of local restaurants with "taqueria" in their name (naturally, because they are all purveyors of tacos) versus two restaurants naming themselves "Buen Provecho."

Hadafarm
Hadafarm

the logic here, as in so many of these other responses, is absurd.  just because my name happens to be McDonald and my grandmother loved burgers and fries does NOT mean I can just start a business called McDonald's.  if Mangia Mobile had had any sense, they would've chosen another beloved expression from their grandfather's repertoire.  I mean, really, all the guy was telling them to do was eat up.

Jeanne Gantz Merenda
Jeanne Gantz Merenda

I think that question was answered - they said that it was named in honor of their grandmother who always said Mangia, Mangia - that is the reason it was special to them besides being just the Italian word for Eat -

David Goldstick
David Goldstick

Sorry, but Panera isn't a real word in any language.  The trademark is derived from Italian and Latin roots: “pan” for bread and “era” for period of time. Roughly translated, it means “bread time.”

For what it's worth, I've found many restaurants with the name 'Mangia' in the title in most metropolitan cities. Do a Yelp search in NYC, Chicago, LA, etc. and see for yourself.

Jeanne Gantz Merenda
Jeanne Gantz Merenda

Again - I can see your point if the truck was named Mangia Italiano Mobile and had the same logo - not the case here - I see different logo and different name -

darkstar
darkstar

exactly.. check out the Daake family on www.courts.mo.gov/casenet and see how often they  go to court. John is father of  Mangia Mobile owners. He owns nursing homes.

Bob
Bob

cgbrown I thought they were the same also. 

cgbrown75
cgbrown75

What's really funny is that the Food Truck Festival is in a park one block away from the actual restaurant. If I was Mangia I would be pissed they were coming into their neighborhood

matt f
matt f

Everyone who knows Mangia Italiano knows it and refers to it as simply "Mangia." I would venture anyone who knows Mangia has assumed the truck was theirs all these months, hence the daily questions to the restaurant's staff. I think (hope) a judge will recognize this and side with the restaurant. The truck owners are being disingenuous and are acting like this is a big game. Mangia has nurtured its brand for 30 years and has a right to protect it!

Jeanne Gantz Merenda
Jeanne Gantz Merenda

............ Oh Dear   -Did Not say the comments should be illegal !!!!!!! - and the bullying?.... is in dragging the Entire family through the mud - people have the right to say whatever they want!!!! This is America!! some are just risking slander by their bullying comments -that have Nothing to do with MangiaMobile.......... say what you want  - it's still a free country..... or so I thought........MangiaMobile is NOT Mangia Italiano Mobile - Oh My

Tim
Tim

Yes, if the truck was located in another market, there wouldn't be an issue. These are businesses in the same market serving the same type of food. And like I said Panera Moble wouldn't fly, neither would Copia Moble, Mango Moble, Qdoba Moble, etc

nate
nate

It is no different and the venom people have over Mangia's proper action to protect its brand totally boggles my mind.

darkstar
darkstar

my error. Thomas and Adele are parents. John is grandfather.

Jeanne Gantz Merenda
Jeanne Gantz Merenda

not me....... I think there are many of us out there that support the Mangia Mobile and who might you be.....lol --We just like good food and don't quite understand why people cant leave these young people trying to start a business alone.darkstar for example - what? really? you are giving yourself away by such a comment - you the one suing and taking them to court?Best of Luck to the siblings who are doing a great job and have to put up with b.s. like this - The logo tells me they have nothing to do with the restaurant -

matt f
matt f

yep, the truck people are flaunting it at this point. They challenged the real Mangia to a TRav throwdown like this is all a fun game. No class whatsoever. I so hope they go down and are never able to open up anything else in this town.

Jeanne Gantz Merenda
Jeanne Gantz Merenda

thats the problem with assume - it makes an A S S outa U & M E......... not that familiar with the restaurant - but I guess I could call Pasta House ......Pasta if I chose - calling it what you choose does not in fact change the name from what it is.....   oops I wonder if it's ok for Mangia Pasta to use that name......... has the word Pasta in it........... so, you see how just plain silly this whole law suit thing is.

jillyph
jillyph

Honestly, I'm not one bit worked up!  I cannot think of something I'm less worked up about than this. I'm trying to understand what you're saying, and whose free speech you're referring to.  It sounds like you're saying it's America and we all have free speech, but then also saying some of the comments (which you refer to as "bullying") on this page should be illegal (thus, it appears you're not in favor of free speech for everyone.)  I'm having trouble reconciling those different positions.

Jeanne Gantz Merenda
Jeanne Gantz Merenda

why would you take this personally - this was not directed to you ....or your comments - please don't get yourself so worked up by this...

Jeanne Gantz Merenda
Jeanne Gantz Merenda

referring to darkstar......... ridiculous....... and people can name their business what they want in this country as well....... again Maniga Mobile is NOT Mangia Italiano Mobile and where they live and who the parents and grandparents are has NOTHING to do with this dispute......nothing at all..... so that is why I said there was bullying - hope that clears it up for you......

jillyph
jillyph

What do you mean by this then?   "There Should be a law against bullying".  Was that just a non-sequitor about your thoughts on bullying?  If it wasn't in relation to the comments on this article, why did you post it?  You might understand my confusion, since if your reply to refer to "bullying comments".  I'm having trouble following your position (sincerely).  You do or don't think people have a right to say whatever they want?  And to whom does that right extend? 

CHuff
CHuff

Wow darkone!  What does any of this have to do with Mangia Italiano whining about the use of "Mangia"? 

darkstar
darkstar

This is a family that is very familiar with litigation. These are not 3 struggling all American kids. Their family home is a mansion on Portland Place.  So? Read the following.

http://www.newsmagazinenetwork...

Jeanne Gantz Merenda
Jeanne Gantz Merenda

so?.......are you picking on everyone you can? oh wow , that indeed is your error - maybe suing everyone is not the right way to go about getting your restaurant more business - Wish you the best but try a different marketing stategy - darkstar you a meana mana - and the white knight always wins lol

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