Skip to content

In-n-Out Heads Really East

Following this post about the self-diluting potential the eastward expansion of the iconic West Coast burger chain In-n-Out, New York In-n-Out fans were victimized yesterday by a cruel April Fools’ prank:  the promise of an In-n-Out outlet near Union Square, complete with “coming soon” signage featuring the real In-n-Out trademark and an apparently real In-n-Out employee handing out flyers.

Everything is back to normal now, but I paused for a moment to wonder whether the real In-n-Out would have any viable legal claim against the pranksters.  The ancient and medieval doctrine of “trespass to chattels” has experienced a minor renaissance over the last decade, as owners of rights in intangibles have struggled to deal with fleeting, “temporary” dispossessions of their interests.  Would a counterpart concept justify a complaint by In-n-Out?