Juan Pollo Franchising v. B&K Pollo, CD Cal. After bench trial, the Court notes:
Plaintiff Juan Pollo Franchising has not shown that it owns the Juan Pollo Marks. Plaintiff Juan Pollo Franchising is the corporation that Okura established in 2011; but this corporation as an entity is entirely separate from Albert Okura the individual or Juan Pollo Inc., the corporation Okura formed in 1984. At trial, Okura testified that either he or Juan Pollo Inc. are the registered owners of the Juan Pollo Marks and that those marks have never been assigned to anyone else. (Transcript at 26-27, 34, 45-46.) Plaintiff Juan Pollo Franchising has not provided evidence that the Juan Pollo Marks were ever assigned to it. As such, the only evidence presented at trial as to the ownership of the Juan Pollo marks tended to demonstrate that either Okura or Juan Pollo Inc. owns the marks in question.
Now, I was ready to write some sort of ‘practice pointer’ to the effect that when you’re swapping ownership around related entities, you really do have to attend to the paperwork – draft the assignment and record the assignment.
But then I looked at the registrations, and I see that Reg 4006025 for JUAN POLLO THE BEST TASTING CHICKEN and 26666886 for JUAN POLLO were in fact assigned from Okura to Juan Pollo Franchising, Inc. in 2013.
There was post-trial briefing, so there may have been the opportunity to point out that Okura misspoke with regard to the existence of a recorded assignment.
So this is odd.