Mr Whippy and Mrs Whippi in not-so-sweet trademark dispute
Stan Gordon’s Franchise Food Company (FFC) is in a dispute with Celebrity Chef, George Calombaris over the Mr Whippy Trademark.
Mr Calombaris’ Melbourne restaurant was accused by Mr Gordon of a name claimed to be too similar to the iconic brand.
FFC is seeking damages from Calombaris’ St Katherine’s Restaurant, claiming that the ‘Mrs Whippi’ dessert was a trademark infringement.
The legal battle has become heated after a letter sent from Calombaris’ lawyers was made public, saying the Mr Whippy trademark’s reputation is absent in the high-profile restaurant market.
Mr Calombaris says he is not using the same trademark, and that in any case the Mr Whippy brand had never been sold in a restaurant or by celebrity chefs, arguing that it has no relevance to his $9.50 dessert.
FFC Managing Director, Stan Gordon, reinforced that he is pursuing legal action to protect his brand.
Mr Whippy has been operating in Australia since 1962, when it arrived from the UK to sell ice-cream in fleets of vans. During the 1970s, Mr Whippy transitioned into suburban shopping centre ice-cream parlours.