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Brown vs. Startup Over a Sandwich

timothy posted about a year and a half ago | from the technically-it's-in-the-ivy-league dept.

Businesses 119

An anonymous reader writes "Crunchbutton, founded by Yale grads, is trying to replicate the success of its one-button food delivery service in and around Brown University. The controversy began when the startup delivered a popular Brown sandwich called the 'Spicy With' to students. Brown's lawyers sent Crunchbutton a cease and desist letter, demanding that the company remove any associations with the university or its name. The startup says it has complied with the demands, yet Brown has not backed off, and it expects to be served with a lawsuit. This tale illustrates the perils of encouraging entrepreneurship while protecting the interests of a big educational institution."

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ooookay? (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about a year and a half ago | (#43337781)

Brown also happens to be a perfectly cromulant color and a very popular surname. Brown University can go... do something indecent.

Re:ooookay? (3, Insightful)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | about a year and a half ago | (#43338653)

What I'd like to know is what the hell is on the sandwich?

Not everyone is from Yale and Brown, whoever wrote the summary and article.

Re:ooookay? (3, Insightful)

cayenne8 (626475) | about a year and a half ago | (#43338853)

And what does "SpicyWith" have to do with Brown or Yale.....? Is the term supposed to mean something?

Re:ooookay? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43339679)

Well, given it's Rhode Island, "spicy" is probably a joke. The average resident would probably get a sunburn just looking at real spicy food.

Spicy chicken sandwich with cheese (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43339949)

It's a spicy chicken sandwich with cheese. "Spicy With" isn't actually the name, it's just something students shout at the grill cook to save half a second.

Re:Spicy chicken sandwich with cheese (2)

srmalloy (263556) | about a year and a half ago | (#43340517)

Just as you would specify 'wit' or 'witout' for whether you wanted onions on your Philly cheese steak sandwich.

Re:ooookay? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43340015)

Oh man, if only there was some sort of ARTICLE ABOUT THE TOPIC IN QUESTION, LINKED FROM THE BRIEF SUMMARY.

Having graduated from Betaspring, Crunchbutton replicated its Yale model by setting up a delivery service for Brown students to order the popular “Spicy With” sandwich from Jo’s, a campus eatery operated by Brown Dining Services.

Re:ooookay? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43338883)

After a bit of black magics (I used a search engine. MAGIC!)

It's Chicken with cheese.

Re:ooookay? (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about a year and a half ago | (#43339685)

Didn't Brown University patent a chicken and cheese sandwich around 1750 or so? Maybe I have the date wrong, but obviously, Brown has the patent. If you want to sell chicken and cheese sandwiches, you need to get a license.

Re:ooookay? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43340893)

Patents only last 25 years or so.

Re:ooookay? (1)

t4ng* (1092951) | about a year and a half ago | (#43341709)

Easy fix. Crunchbutton declares bankruptcy, employees get paid all wages due at 100% first, everyone else waits in line and gets pennies on the dollar. The same startup group then fills out the paperwork for a new corporation under a different name, does that same thing but without using the "Spicy With" name. If the Brown lawyers still try to come after them, just direct them to the back of the line for the bankruptcy hearings of Crunchbutton.

I've seen startups do this many times before, and it works. It's not like they have a decades old company and brand names to protect. Just keeping abusing the corporate veil until they find a formula that works without getting sued.

Obviously some kind of rivalry at work (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43337785)

How much you want to bet this is just Brown being butthurt that they're getting one-upped by Yale grads yet again..

Brown? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43337825)

Why would they name their university after the color of poop? They should have payed attention to the brown Microsoft Zune fiasco.

Re:Brown? (1)

j00r0m4nc3r (959816) | about a year and a half ago | (#43338663)

They should just rename the sandwich to "The Brown Sucks".
Yale : 2
Brown: 0

Re:Brown? (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about a year and a half ago | (#43339095)

The Zune Sandwich.

Bet it's not popular then.

Re:Brown? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43339617)

They were obviously just assigned a color.
Now Brown University may have grumbled a bit, but you should have heard the fuzz Pink University made.

The decline and fall of the American Empire (3, Funny)

M. Baranczak (726671) | about a year and a half ago | (#43337839)

people tend to choose the same one or two items whenever they call a particular restaurant for delivery or take-out. And restaurants tend to have a few popular items that they make particularly well. Why not match up supply and demand with a smart button that makes ordering super-simple?

For people who think that ordering food delivery is just too much work.

Re:The decline and fall of the American Empire (1)

viking099 (70446) | about a year and a half ago | (#43338349)

Or maybe they want to try something new and don't know what's good at a new place.

Like the time I ordered Menudo at a Mexican joint because the menu suggested it was a Mexican version of Beef Stew.

Re:The decline and fall of the American Empire (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43338623)

I got extra credit in a Spanish class for eating menudo. In retrospect, this was probably not worth it since I think I already had an A.

Re:The decline and fall of the American Empire (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43338963)

Re:The decline and fall of the American Empire (0)

Type44Q (1233630) | about a year and a half ago | (#43341313)

Like the time I ordered Menudo at a Mexican joint because the menu suggested it was a Mexican version of Beef Stew.

That's still better than ordering something "made with love" and getting "cream of sum yung gai" :p

Re:The decline and fall of the American Empire (1)

Rich0 (548339) | about a year and a half ago | (#43339931)

Actually, maintaining customer preferences is all-around a good idea. If you tend to order one of a few items done a certain way, why not make it easy and just let you pick it off of a touch screen or whatever? They don't have to get your order right, you don't have to spell it out, and you can basically walk up, swipe your card, tap two buttons, and it is ordered/paid. Assuming people read the order, the error rare would be much lower as well.

Re:The decline and fall of the American Empire (1)

dcollins117 (1267462) | about a year and a half ago | (#43340093)

Press a button, get your stuff. I'm surprised Amazon.com doesn't get into the fray with their one-click shopping patent. Or is pressing a button "... on a computer" a totally different technology?

Re:The decline and fall of the American Empire (3, Insightful)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year and a half ago | (#43340333)

ordering food is one of those things that's much, much better done with a machine than with a phone.

first off, phone takes much more time. not only that, but it takes two persons time leading to one person at the sandwich place practically having to do phone duty. and since he has to do some sort of data input from mumblings of callers with bad lines, it's error prone. it's much, much simpler if the guy ordering the stuff does the data input into textual form that prints out on a slip for the cook. even simpler if he pays up front too(no joke orders).

whenever I order kebab, I do it online. much simpler for everyone involved - all the kebab/pizza places here have staff that have moved in from elsewhere - try explaining valkosipuli and jauhelihakastike to them over phone.

it's not as much about laziness as it is about getting what you actually want!

Re:The decline and fall of the American Empire (1)

Black Jack Hyde (2374) | about a year and a half ago | (#43341105)

For people who think that ordering food delivery is just too much work.

Sounds like they've found a prospective customer base for Pre Chew Charlie's.

Brown's Chicken? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43337841)

It doesn't taste better?

Re:Brown's Chicken? (1)

larry bagina (561269) | about a year and a half ago | (#43338319)

I had a bad experience with Brown's Starfish.

LOL WUT? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43337887)


 

Re:LOL WUT? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43338025)

Exactly, I had to read the summary 3 times before I could make sense of it. I was thinking "English, Motherf...ker, do you speak it?"

Re:LOL WUT? (0)

NatasRevol (731260) | about a year and a half ago | (#43339113)

English, BrownWith, do you Spicy it?

Obligatory XKCD (0)

Noughmad (1044096) | about a year and a half ago | (#43337909)

1. Do they have a command-line client?
2. Does it require root privileges?

Nothing to report (3, Insightful)

schneidafunk (795759) | about a year and a half ago | (#43337911)

In the article, it says he complied with the legal threat and that is pretty much the end of the story. They have not been taken to court. All else in the article is just publicity for the company.

That being said, I don't see why they need to focus on campuses at all, except it's a good market for delivery & cell phone usage. There is no need for a lawsuit and they already stopped delivering food associated to Brown.

Re:Nothing to report (1)

Motard (1553251) | about a year and a half ago | (#43338797)

Well, I think Facebook showed that for college students, starting out on campus is a perfect incubator. It's easier to be relevant, you can easily mingle with the population to gauge the reaction, to figure out what works and what doesn't. Unlike facebook, these guys have already monetized their service. It seems as though they're in a pretty good position.

Re:Nothing to report (1)

BitZtream (692029) | about a year and a half ago | (#43339325)

Food delivery service is popular with a population of people which generally don't own cars or have the equipment, utensils and/or time to cook their own meals? Its shocking that they figured this out all on their own. It seems their in as good a position as ... well, Domino's and all the other services that offer pretty much the same thing.

I'm not sure how 'saturated market' is a good position to be in.

Re:Nothing to report (1)

cdrudge (68377) | about a year and a half ago | (#43340123)

I don't see why they need to focus on campuses at all, except it's a good market for delivery & cell phone usage.

I'd say good market for delivery is a huge reason why. Usually a campus has a higher densities of potential customers. Students studying and don't want to take a break to get it on their own or go to a dining hall. Or don't have a car and don't want to walk/take the bus/ride their bike/whatever. Or their car is parked on the opposite side of campus where the student parking is at. Or they wanted something to eat outside the normal hours of the dining hall. Or at least all those were reasons why I'd order Jimmy Johns when I lived on campus.

Wha... ? (3, Interesting)

TWX (665546) | about a year and a half ago | (#43337925)

I'm still trying to wrap my brain around this...

They do not claim to be the restaurant, they claim to be a courier service. They mention what the restaurant provides, and they create a method to allow one to use school-food-accounts to pay for it. The restaurant and thus the school still gets paid.

Then there are somewhat generic words like "Brown" and "Spicy With". I am curious as to how the school could hold on to "Spicy With" when that's a description, in the same fashion that Apple got denied trademark on "iPad Mini" because it's a description, not a name...

Re:Wha... ? (2)

fermion (181285) | about a year and a half ago | (#43338409)

in a perfect world that would be ok. In the real world people complain about everything. The service opens Brown up to any number of complaints. For instance the help screen says contact the restaurant for problems with an order.This means if food does not get delivered correctly, the restaurant has to deal with it.

In addition you note that school food account is used to pay. These are often paid by their parents,so it open the school up to the most dreadful thing, parent phone calls. One imagines that there is a delivery fee, and that the delivery fee is something parents are not prepared for. Likewise, the school has a responsibility to control the use of student information. if the school does not do anything, and student information is breeched, then that is a problem for the school.

As has been mentioned, the school asked the firm to stop using the restaurant and the the business did. End fo story. Part of the problem some may be having is that students pretty much expect to do anything they want, but really they can't. There are limits. My firm to tak over the quad quad and play music all day and night to sell cds. I am clearly providing a service. I am not sure if anyone would say that I should allowed to do this.

In other words (1)

mbkennel (97636) | about a year and a half ago | (#43339091)

The university was angry about somebody who did something to drive business to their restaurant and moreover, did it for free. Sue them!

Will they sue the phone system and google for connecting them?

Re:In other words (1)

Stormy Dragon (800799) | about a year and a half ago | (#43339339)

In exchange for the students giving their ID information to a third party. How is this different than a phising scam, really?

Re:In other words (1)

cdrudge (68377) | about a year and a half ago | (#43340005)

The same amount of information that is available at just about every business around a major campus that has student discounts or other reasons for looking at a ID.

Re:In other words (1)

Stormy Dragon (800799) | about a year and a half ago | (#43341131)

Yeah, but those businesses all went through the approval process to get access to the ID system and are accessing it via the proper channels. It sounds like this CrunchButton website is just storing account credentials and then pretending to be the student so they can place orders in their name. It's obvious why the school would have an issue with that.

Suppose I create a business called "CashButton" that will transfer $100 from your bank to paypal with just a single button click, provided you just give me your userid and login to each. Do you think that the banks and paypal aren't going to flip out that I'm collecting a database of their account logins that they have no control over?

Re:Wha... ? (1)

sribe (304414) | about a year and a half ago | (#43338471)

I am curious as to how the school could hold on to "Spicy With" when that's a description...

But it's really not. Ask yourself, what does it describe? Going to your example, an "iPad mini" is clearly a small iPad--from the name you know what it is, because the name described it. But you certainly can't tell what a "Spicy With" is from the name. What kind of bread, meat, condiments? No clue--we expect the sandwich will be spicy to some degree, but that's it.

That said, most of Brown's complaints are complete bullshit. There is no law, none whatsoever, against reselling food. Nor is there any law restricting one from stating exactly what it is that one is reselling.

Re:Wha... ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43338479)

I'm guessing it's the part where they worked with other restaurants to create the same sandwich, that pissed the school off. They may not have a legal leg to stand on, but it's understandable why they are pissed.

And while I'm at it, why should Brown give a crap about the entrepreneurship from students from a different university? "This tale illustrates the perils of encouraging entrepreneurship while protecting the interests of a big educational institution" no it doesn't

Recipes are not copyrightable (2)

maroberts (15852) | about a year and a half ago | (#43339369)

They're simply a list of ingredients [copyright.gov]

So you're free to make a SpicyWith. (Unless they have a trademark on SpicyWith, which is again unlikely as descriptions are not allowed)

Re:Wha... ? (1)

chrismcb (983081) | about a year and a half ago | (#43340193)

It doesn't really have anything to do with "Brown" or 'Spicy With" but rather the fact that they make it seem like they have a partnership with Brown and Brown's food service. I'm not a lawyer, but I'm curious to know what legal grounds Brown has to stand on. They aren't competing with Brown as they are selling Brown's product, presumably for more money. Doesn't first sale and fair use cover everything?

Re:Wha... ? (1)

Dragonslicer (991472) | about a year and a half ago | (#43340787)

It doesn't really have anything to do with "Brown" or 'Spicy With" but rather the fact that they make it seem like they have a partnership with Brown and Brown's food service. I'm not a lawyer, but I'm curious to know what legal grounds Brown has to stand on.

Your first sentence is the answer to your second sentence. You aren't allowed to advertise that you have a relationship with a company (or some similar organization) when you don't have such a relationship. I haven't looked at the details of this case, so I can't say who's right or wrong, but that seems to have been the complaint.

Say (0)

no-body (127863) | about a year and a half ago | (#43337941)

Is that fun?

What kind of people do this?
Are they happy, where do they live, how do they look, how is their hm, sexlife?

That would be really interesting to find out.

F*ck Feces University (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43337945)

The startup says it has complied with the demands, yet Brown has not backed off, and it expects to be served with a lawsuit. This tale illustrates the perils of encouraging entrepreneurship while protecting the interests of a big educational institution."

No, this tale illustrates the perils of being an entrepreneur in a universe we have to share with completely litigious dickwads (Color-of-feces 'Brown' University).

Re:F*ck Feces University (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about a year and a half ago | (#43338021)

Yup.. I agree. Seems this would be a great opportunity for Brown to reel in this idiot and make a statement with its actions.

Which part has the university's name (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43337969)

The business is called Crunchbutton. The sandwich is called "Spicy With".

How does any of that suggest Brown University?

Re:Which part has the university's name (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43338037)

With is the official preposition of Brown University. It's on the homepage and in all their official literature. Spicy is the fencing team's mascot, a Mexican matador with a bandolier of epees.

I really don't see how this could be any clearer.

Re:Which part has the university's name (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43338121)

I just Trademarked "A"

Now pay me.. all of you!

Re:Which part has the university's name (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43338351)

I'm not p@ying you cr@p. I found @nother w@y.

h@h!

Re:Which bit represents the university's title (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43338363)

You might not be very successful in prosecuting people over your purported property...

Re:Which part has the university's name (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43338771)

"F" & "U" still here.

Priorities (1)

Applekid (993327) | about a year and a half ago | (#43338009)

Remember when higher education was concerned with, well, education, instead of "branding"?

Re:Priorities (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43338181)

Not really [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Priorities (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43338325)

Frankly, I don't remember.

"Higher" education has always been a business. The "public" version is a business as well, they just have the added convenience of padding their profits with taxpayer money.

Without sizzle and marketing, how else do you convince [the parents of] a 17-year old to go into $200K in debt to get a degree in Fine Art?

Re:Priorities (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43340829)

The "public" version is a business as well, they just have the added convenience of padding their profits with taxpayer money.

What? The public versions are not profit. There is no profit. No shareholders beyond the state itself. You should have said they pad their salaries with taxpayer money, geeze.

Re:Priorities (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43341339)

i believe the GP's point was that public versions also have to compete for students, the less students they get, the less money they get from the state. So they very much are run like businesses even if they don't make a "profit"

Note: i work for a state university.

For now it looks like they may have to (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43338039)

Brown bag it for a while.

Yeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh

Re:For now it looks like they may have to (3, Funny)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about a year and a half ago | (#43338287)

asshole. Edward von Gerichten is now on the phone with every brown bag manufactuer in North America threatening trademark infringement. It's cashing in on "their good name."

Re:For now it looks like they may have to (2)

sjames (1099) | about a year and a half ago | (#43341865)

I would think they'd be more pissed at Brown logistics or UPS for implying that the school is a training center for truck drivers and deliverymen.

so call it "Shit University" and keep going (1)

swschrad (312009) | about a year and a half ago | (#43338051)

and then if Brown decides their name is "shit" and sues, it can be tossed out because the university's high rollers made the association themselves.

The Amazing Brown Note Generator! (1)

Mindragon (627249) | about a year and a half ago | (#43338095)

I have a fantastic start up idea called "Brown Note Generator". With one button, it will serve lawsuits to everyone that I don't like! Now to get onto Shark Tank...

Sandwich Man (1)

dugjohnson (920519) | about a year and a half ago | (#43338105)

I was a "sandwich man" when a student at a different Ivy League school. In that case I had no choice but to buy from food services. You were not allowed to sell or deliver to the dorms unless you were authorized by food services.
This is, most likely, a case of Brown having its own service and not wanting the competition.

Re:Sandwich Man (1)

khallow (566160) | about a year and a half ago | (#43338323)

It's also worth noting that they were selling food from on campus concessionary services. I think Brown University should be stripped completely of this power and control, but well, that's what they have.

Re:Sandwich Man (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about a year and a half ago | (#43338767)

It wasn't even a "reselling" situation or even making money on delivery, it was a conduit to their own services as I understand it.

Re:Sandwich Man (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about a year and a half ago | (#43339085)

It's also worth noting that they were selling food from on campus concessionary services.

Ah. Most of these are cash cows for the universities. Perhaps the concern here is that Crunchbutton would obviate the need for their dining halls, and then once the delivery business was well-established they'd start working with outside food providers, thereby eliminating the need for Brown's dining services cartel.

Finding some weak legal means to make threats may be the cheapest way to head-off such competition.

Another milestone for first-year law students (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43338145)

Brown v. Topeka Board of Education (1954)

Brown v. Startup Over a Sandwich (2013)

Unlikely scenario (4, Funny)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about a year and a half ago | (#43338207)

Brown University sues Crunchbutton.
Crunchbutton seeks external help.
UPS sues Brown University over the "Brown" trademark.
Brown University drops lawsuit against Crunchbutton, with public apologies.
UPS drops lawsuit against Brown University, with a note saying "We'll be watching. By the way your name is now Blue University".

Re:Unlikely scenario (2)

bryan1945 (301828) | about a year and a half ago | (#43338831)

Duke sues UPS over "Blue."

Re:Unlikely scenario (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43340311)

I think Brown might have a slight advantage over UPS in that suit since UPS has been around as UPS sine the 1930's while Brown University is the 3rd oldest university in the country dating back to 1764.

Re:Unlikely scenario (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43340717)

Except that UPS is the one with the registered trademark.

Okay unless they deliver... (1)

Dareth (47614) | about a year and a half ago | (#43342013)

Okay unless they deliver the Spicy With!

Re:Unlikely scenario (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43340461)

And then IBM gets involved.

... Expects to be served with a lawsuit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43338211)

But will it be for take-out?

How is this bad news? (1)

Glires (200409) | about a year and a half ago | (#43338227)

So the university that "really encourages entrepreneurship" has managed to get the entrepreneur free national publicity by threatening (but not actually filing, to date) a lawsuit. I feel like a tool just for having read the article.

Re:How is this bad news? (1)

CptNerd (455084) | about a year and a half ago | (#43341711)

How do you think I feel, I only read your comment...

IP is where we really need deregulation (1)

guanxi (216397) | about a year and a half ago | (#43338277)

It's trendy in some circles to complain of excessive government regulation interfering with business, but intellectual property is where it really happens. Sometimes it seems like any entrepreneur or innovation can be stopped cold by the legal burden of defending intellectual property.

Re:IP is where we really need deregulation (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about a year and a half ago | (#43338475)

Won't be easy since it's wrapped up in international law and how all international patents are honored.

Re:IP is where we really need deregulation (1)

AvitarX (172628) | about a year and a half ago | (#43338789)

That's not true about patents. You need to file in every jurisdiction you want protection in.

Re:IP is where we really need deregulation (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about a year and a half ago | (#43339221)

Patents are covered by the WTO and software patents are explicitly treated just like any other. That's the problem. The international community has to come behind a new set of laws that can get passed. You can be sure that China will have issues with vigorous enforcement of dedicated software patent laws.

Re:IP is where we really need deregulation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43339293)

It's trendy in some circles to think that, yes.

That lawyer should be fired. (1)

Zouden (232738) | about a year and a half ago | (#43338357)

I think it's pretty clear that this isn't going to go well for Brown. They'll get nothing but bad publicity from this, so why on earth was this lawyer allowed to write a C&D letter? He should have at least checked first with Brown's marketing department - or any department - if it's okay to threaten a small business that's popular with students for no gain to the the university.

Do they sue UPS? (1)

cant_get_a_good_nick (172131) | about a year and a half ago | (#43338451)

"What can Brown do for you?"

What can Color C0:M60:Y72:K98 do for you?

Re:Do they sue UPS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43338857)

"What can Brown do for you?"

Why don't you bend over? I'll show you what Brown can do for you...

what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43338673)

Rosenblatt and von Gerichten-stern are dead.

Super Critical Details Are Super Effective (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43338737)

Critical facts missing form the summary: The restaurant and sandwiches are owned by the university. This is not about Brown as a trademark.

Rosenblatt says he complied with these demands. On Dec. 12, he wrote an e-mail back to von Gerichten, saying as much. But the lawyer wrote back the next day, saying he ,b>still saw Brown’s product listed on Crunchbutton’s Web page and that there were indications that the campus delivery service would resume (as well as a “defamatory” statement involving liver damage). Rosenblatt wrote back disputing that there was any indication that delivery of “Spicy With” would continue, and apologizing for what he called a joke (which he said was “made in poor taste”).

Meanwhile, in late February, Crunchbutton started working with a Providence restaurant, off campus, to sell and deliver the equivalent of a “Spicy With” sandwich— “except much fresher and tastier,” says Rosenblatt.

So, rather than simply complying and ending the story there. They chose to temporarily comply and make fun of the product and circumstance. This raised the lawyer's ire, rather than diffusing the situation. Crunchbutton then responded with a lame attempt of an excuse. As if that wasn't enough, they then tried to launch another product that (whether or not is actually infringing) is a clear attempt to circumvent rights that Crunchbutton already accepted by their prior faux claims of compliance.

It is clear by their actions that Crunchbutton is willfully attempting to "ingringe", which will not put them in a favorable light when judgment comes. The only real question is if they can prove that there is CLEARLY no infringement or rights being held.

Re:Super Critical Details Are Super Effective (3, Insightful)

mbkennel (97636) | about a year and a half ago | (#43339197)

"infringe" on what?

App was making it easy for people to order a sandwich from Brown's cafeteria. Somehow Brown thought that was offensive and something to be stopped.

App makers respond by making it easy for people to order a similar sandwich from a different restaurant not run by Brown University. University goes apoplectic, presumably offended that the app maker didn't go out of business immediately.

Infringe what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43339793)

As if that wasn't enough, they then tried to launch another product that (whether or not is actually infringing) is a clear attempt to circumvent rights that Crunchbutton already accepted by their prior faux claims of compliance.

BS. Crunchbutton voluntarily stopped offering the sandwich. That doesn't mean they accepted Brown's claims. If they really wanted to fight Brown, they still could.

It is clear by their actions that Crunchbutton is willfully attempting to "ingringe", which will not put them in a favorable light when judgment comes.

It's a different sandwich from a different restaurant. They have no interaction with Brown at this point. There's no indication that Brown even cares anymore, now that they're not using student IDs and not ordering from the campus restaurant.

Even the name "Spicy With" isn't actually the name of the sandwich at the campus restaurant. It's a spicy chicken sandwich, which you can get with cheese or without. It's the same shit you get at any campus cafeteria, not some kind of signature specialty.

Re:Super Critical Details Are Super Effective (2)

chrismcb (983081) | about a year and a half ago | (#43340257)

But what are they infringing on? They are selling Brown's sandwich. They are telling people they are selling Brown's sandwich. Brown is making full profit from selling that sandwich. First Sale says I can resale it. Fair use seems to imply I can indicate it was Brown's. So what is the actual problem?

Re:Super Critical Details Are Super Effective (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about a year and a half ago | (#43340609)

But what are they infringing on? They are selling Brown's sandwich. They are telling people they are selling Brown's sandwich. Brown is making full profit from selling that sandwich. First Sale says I can resale it. Fair use seems to imply I can indicate it was Brown's. So what is the actual problem?

Not to mention that it's not possible to patent or trademark a list of ingredients.

Expects... (1)

asylumx (881307) | about a year and a half ago | (#43338827)

The startup...expects to be served with a lawsuit"

So is that what makes this newsworthy? Post an article when at least the lawsuit has been filed, or better yet when it has been ruled upon. Right now, who cares?

Academia can SUCK IT (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43340355)

The astonishing and unprecedented success of libertarian entreprenurs has prooved that "higher" education just doesn't work and this lawsuit is just one more proof that one doesn't need any kind of formal education to succeed when you simply keep government OUT OF OUR BUSINESS.

Sigh.. (1)

toonces33 (841696) | about a year and a half ago | (#43340441)

What has Brown done for you lately?

What I want to know is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43340765)

Why anyone would buy anything from some outfit called "Crunchbottom"?

"Spicy with" recipe? (1)

will_die (586523) | about a year and a half ago | (#43340883)

So what is a "spicy with" sandwich made of?

I propose a new sandwich ... (1)

golodh (893453) | about a year and a half ago | (#43341325)

I plan to call it the "urgent-cease-and-desist" sandwich. It constitutes of two slices of brown bread, with brown peanut butter, lettuce with brown spots, seasoned with a smallish amount of ground chili peppers, and served in a mock-up (brown) leather briefcase.

Re:I propose a new sandwich ... (1)

Hsien-Ko (1090623) | about a year and a half ago | (#43341569)

suedo sue me a sandwich
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