Heart Attack Grill claims another patron, while trade mark dispute continues

We previously posted about a patron of Heart Attack Grill (‘HAG’) suffering a heart attack, and about HAG’s trade mark dispute with 2nd Ave Deli, New York.  Last week in Las Vegas, another patron collapsed while allegedly “eating a double bypass burger, drinking a margarita and smoking a cigarette”.

No one could accuse HAG of false advertising.  Its menu features ‘Flatliner Fries’ (deep fried in pure lard), ‘Butter-fat Shakes’, packaged candies including candy cigarettes and liquor shots served in four ounce novelty syringes, but the main attraction has to be the ‘Bypass Burgers’, available in Single, Double, Triple or Quadruple.  The Quadruple Bypass Burger, recently crowned the most caloric sandwich on earth in Guinness World Records, includes four half-pound patties, 4 slices of cheese, 20 slices of bacon, a whole tomato, half a red onion, gourmet sauce and lettuce on a lard-coated bun, and packs more than 9000 calories.  To put this in perspective, to burn off a Quadruple Bypass Burger would require around 19 hours of jogging, 30 hours of vigorous cleaning or 72 hours of laughing.  And that’s assuming you didn’t opt for the side of fries. 

HAG’s slogan is “Taste worth dying for”.  Signs hang on the front doors reading “Cash Only, because you might die before the cheque clears.”  Diners who weigh over 350Lbs (160 kg), are invited to eat for free.  The restaurant is medical themed, with staff decked out in nurses uniforms.  “Patients” (customers) who finish a Quadruple Bypass burger meal are ‘treated’ to being rolled out of the restaurant in a wheelchair.  Obviously this novelty experience doesn’t create quite the same media frenzy as a patron being rolled out on a stretcher.

Interestingly, HAG owner, (‘Doctor’) Jon Basso reports that he is not too concerned about one of his “patients” suing him.  He says: “Unlike cigarettes, I have had warning labels since day one, when we opened in 2005, telling people how bad our food is for you.  I think that skirts any liability we might have.”  Certainly, HAG would have to be one of the first fast food restaurants to be upfront about the number of calories in their products.

HAG is still embroiled in a trade mark dispute with New York’s 2nd Ave Deli, which is seeking a declaration that its ‘Instant Heart Attack Sandwich’ and upcoming ‘Triple Bypass Sandwich’ do not infringe the trade mark rights of HAG.  We previously blogged about the dispute here.   After January settlement negotiations failed, HAG filed a motion for summary judgment in March, which was opposed by 2nd Ave Deli.  2nd Ave Deli then filed its own motion for summary judgment in April.  While the parties agree that there is no confusion in New York at this time, and HAG is content for the Court to find for 2nd Ave Deli in that regard, the parties are still in dispute as to the geographical reach of any restrictions or rights to use, and 2nd Ave Deli still wants to be allowed to register its marks. 

While watching one of the news reports of last week’s unfortunate incident, we couldn’t help noticing background art work which closely resembled that of Salvador Dali.  Then, we discovered this treasure trove, a Facebook album of HAG Art, HAG’s very own takes on famous pieces by Magritte, Warhol, Botticelli, Michelangelo and Rodin, to name a few.  We thought this deserved its very own post, which will be uploaded shortly.

Back to the burgers, and apparently HAG owner, Jon Basso, has eaten at least one Single Bypass Burger each day since his restaurant opened seven years ago.  While an anti-meat advocacy group believes Basso is “morally bankrupt”, here at IP Whiteboard we think that he must at least laugh a lot and have a very clean house!

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About the Author

Samantha McHughSamantha McHugh is a solicitor loving everything media, food, fashion and IP, who would like to get to pilates more frequently. With a penchant for mustard-coloured home furnishings and a mean repertoire of desserts, Sam has dreams of one day juggling a successful legal career with a chase for an endless summer around the globe. Sam also enjoys reality TV and online shopping to an extent which is unhealthy. Sam loves writing posts about branding, marketing, celebrities and anything that makes her giggle.View all posts by Samantha McHugh