Famous San Francisco restaurant Quince is embroiled in an ugly brand fight with e-commerce startup Quince.com, after accusing the retailer of diluting its brand.
Quince, which has three Michelin stars and has been considered one of the best restaurants in the world, asked a federal judge last week for a preliminary injunction barring Quince.com from using the name.
Led by chef and co-founder Michael Tusk, Quince complains that it has received at least one negative review on Yelp aimed at Quince.com, demonstrating customer confusion over the name.
The restaurant also says it received packages, including one filled with sheepskin rugs, intended to be return items for Quince.com, and phone calls with customer service complaints intended for the retailer.
Zachary Briers, an attorney for Quince.com, told San Francisco Chronicle that the restaurant’s lawsuit is “baseless” and promised that the e-commerce company would not change its name.
Led by chef and co-founder Michael Tusk (pictured), Quince complains that it has received at least one negative review on Yelp aimed at the e-commerce site Quince.com.
Restaurant Quince, seen above, has been in business for 20 years and is one of 12 restaurants in the US with three Michelin stars.
“They sell cashmere sweaters, sheepskin boots, necklaces and quilts,” Briers said of Quince.com.
“A restaurant with a single location does not have the right to exclude others from using similar names in completely unrelated industries.”
Founded in 2018 and led by CEO Sid Gupta, Quince.com was originally known as ‘Last Brand’, until it changed its name around 2020.
The company describes itself as a “curated online marketplace selling high-quality fashion and home goods at radically low prices.”
Like the restaurant, the e-commerce site is based in San Francisco, which Quince said has contributed to customer confusion.
Quince restaurant has existed for 20 years and is one of the 12 restaurants in the United States with three Michelin stars, the highest rating offered by the famous guide.
The restaurant has a registered trademark in Quince for catering services and gastronomic and culinary entertainment events.
Quince also has a pending trademark application for use of the name for restaurant and bar services.
Quince.com has trademarks in the name of online retail services and household goods, which are pending challenge by the restaurant.
Founded in 2018 and led by CEO Sid Gupta (above), Quince.com was originally known as ‘Last Brand’, until it changed its name around 2020.
The Quince.com website is seen above. The company describes itself as a “curated online marketplace selling high-quality fashion and home goods at radically low prices.”
According to the lawsuit, chef Tusk and his wife Lindsay decided to name the restaurant after the fruit because ‘unlike an apple, quince cannot be eaten as is; rather, the process by which you can eat is long and arduous, similar to the process of opening and maintaining a restaurant.’
In December 2022, after noticing strange reviews on Yelp, the restaurant says it sent Quince.com a cease-and-desist letter demanding it drop the name.
The restaurant filed a federal trademark lawsuit against the retailer in November 2023.
According to the lawsuit, Quince.com last month launched a line of cookware that was advertised as “Michelin-worthy,” “professional quality” and “Made in Italy.”
“Plaintiff is a three-star Michelin restaurant that sells Italian and French food and its chef, Chef Tusk, regularly partners with cookware brands,” the restaurant said in a document filed last week.
“These and other cases described below have led to real confusion, both on the part of the plaintiff’s clients and the defendant’s clients.”
Quince.com has until February 20 to respond to the restaurant’s motion for a preliminary injunction prohibiting use of the name.
Judge Araceli Martínez-Olguín will hear oral arguments on the motion on March 21.
Lawyers for Quince and Quince.com did not immediately respond to DailyMail.com’s requests for comment Tuesday afternoon.