U.S. News

Jeweler Fabergé forces Brooklyn's Faberge restaurant to change name

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A federal judge has ordered Faberge, a Brooklyn restaurant and banquet hall, to come up with a new name by the end of August after Fabergé, the luxury jewelry company favored by the tsars of Russia, successfully sued for breach of copyright.

Faberge, the restaurant, opened last fall in Brooklyn’s Sheepshead Bay, a neighborhood with a large Russian immigrant population.

Unlike the jeweler, the restaurant spells its name without an accent, and replaced the letter ‘A’ with the Eiffel Tower in its logo. Still, Fabergé, the jewelry company, said in its lawsuit it was a “shameless” appropriation of its intellectual property.

The restaurant also emulated the distinctive facade of gold and purple diamonds at Fabergé’s London boutique.

Vladislav Yusufov, an owner of the restaurant, argued that there could be no confusion because he sells mostly steaks and not expensive jewelry. But he ended up seeking a quick settlement, according to Antonio Papageorgiou, his lawyer.

“It was a business decision that it would be less expensive just to comply with their demands rather than fighting it out,” Papageorgiou said in a telephone interview.

A settlement was reached, and Judge John Gleeson signed a judgment ordering Yusufov to cease using the name, however he chose to spell it, and to change his restaurant’s facade.

According to the judgment, filed last Thursday in the federal district court in Brooklyn, Yusufov also agreed to pay Fabergé $25,000.

The restaurant has covered up its signage for now, Papageorgiou said.

Yusufov could not immediately be reached for comment, but a man who answered the phone at the restaurant on Wednesday and identified himself as the manager said they were still trying to think of a new name.

Reporting by Jonathan Allen; Editing by Dan Grebler