Last week, NBCUniversal and Universal Orlando were hit with a $40 million lawsuit from a man in Ohio over Toothsome Chocolate Factory. Adam Limle says that the restaurant was his concept and he had been meeting with Universal for months explaining his concept. In fact, Limle even registered a trademark for The Chocolate Factory back in 2014 and has been running an online company called The Chocolate Factory.
But should Universal be concerned by any of this?
Well, the answer is difficult. According to the Orlando Sentinel, Limle said he got the idea for The Chocolate Factory back in 2003 and first met with Universal about the idea in 2008. Because of this, his lawsuit is seeking damages for breach of oral contract, breach of good faith and fair dealing, misappropriation of trade secrets, fraud in the inducement, and construction fraud, plus more.
His lawsuit also mentions trademark infringement, but he may not have a solid ground to stand on with the claim. His trademark only protects the name The Chocolate Factory, but Universal’s restaurant is Toothsome Chocolate Emporioum & Savory Feast Kitchen. Universal did change the name from Toothsome Chocolate Factory in May, and Limle’s attorney claims Universal changed it in anticipation of a lawsuit, but Universal might’ve changed it for other reasons. Possibly because it isn’t actually a chocolate factory? Who knows.
While many claims are made against theme parks, each case is different so making assumptions is never a good idea. We’ll keep you updated on any new details of the case.