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Dogfight: Lost Dog Businesses Spar Over Almost Same Names

9:08 PM, Aug 1, 2012   |    comments
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SHEPHERDSTOWN, W. Va. (WUSA) - For 16 years Garth Janssen has been brewing up java at his funky little coffee house Lost Dog Coffee in Shepherdstown, West Virginia.

But now he's facing a possible lawsuit from the owners of the popular lost dog Cafe of Arlington who have a trademark on the name Lost Dog.

Last Wednesday Janssen received a cease and desist letter from the Lost Dog Cafe's lawyer.

Janssen says he's not about to get rid of the name Lost Dog. He says it came from a real life experience when he was a kid. A lost dog, then found, that brought his family from Colorado to West Virginia.

But Lost Dog Cafe's owner Pam McAlwee says they've had the name longer and must protect their trademark, not only for their flagship restaurant on Arlngton Boulevard, but for their three franchisee owners.

McAlwee bristles at the David and Goliath reference, being a small business owner herself. She'd like to work out an agreement with Janssen as long as he pledges not to expand or serve food.

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