A couple of small, independently-owned burger restaurants in West Michigan are being sued by one of the big chain restaurants that says they're copycats.

Doll n' Burgers, which has locations in Jackson and Tecumseh, Michigan is being sued by In-N-Out Burgers, a popular fast-food chain with numerous restaurants out west. In-N-Out Burgers claims - among other things - that the Michigan burger joints look too similar to its establishments.

What Are the Similarities Between the Two Restaurants?

In-N-Out Burgers takes issue with Doll n' Burgers' use of the same red, white, and yellow color scheme used in its restaurants.

The chain also claims that Doll n' Burgers uses:

  • A white interior with red stripes
  • Gray countertops
  • red upholstery on the furniture
  • Employee uniforms featuring white collared shirts, red aprons, and red and white ball caps or paper hats
  • White cups with red graphics
  • Open ended burger wrappers
  • Classic car motif
  • And a single 'N' in the middle of its name.

The chain also claims that Doll n' Burgers' menu boards are similar to its design which it says is registered with the US Patent and Trademark Office.

Michigan Owners Say Claims are Baseless

Doll n' Burgers' founders Justin Dalenburger and Ken Hees tell the Daily Telegram that their restaurants' name is a play on Dalenburger's last name.

The pair also say several major restaurant chains like McDonald's, Wendy's, and others use similar combinations of red, white, and yellow in the color schemes and all have similar menu layouts, burger wrappers, and uniforms.

Both Parties Seeking Damages

In-N-Out is seeking an order to require Doll n' Burgers to destroy all products and materials that infringe upon what is called its 'trade dress.'

Doll n' Burgers is asking that In-N-Out's trade dress be canceled and that its claims be dismissed. The Michigan chain is also asking the court that it be reimbursed for the cost of defending itself.

Further details can be found here.

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