Burger Battle between In-N-Out and CaliBurger in Shanghai

Image: Time Out Shanghai

A legal battle is brewing in Shanghai over California-style fast food. Irvine-based In-N-Out has sued CalifBurger for copying its signature burger. Though In-N-Out does not have any stores in China, the company is enforcing its intellectual property rights.

In-N-Out, which does not have any stores in China, claims that Shanghai’s CaliBurger’s new “Double-Double” burger infringes upon their signature burger. CaliBurger’s founders are Americans who have company offices in Diamond Bar and some of the restaurant’s employee’s in Shanghai said that Jonathan Wong, CaliBurger’s chef and director of training and development, is actually a former manager at In-N-Out in Northern California. Wong, who is a native of Hercules, California admits, “The model [for CaliBurger] was In-N-Out.”

CaliBurger’s menu and decor has been tweaked after In-N-Out filed suit for trademark infringement and counterfeiting. An agreement was made between the two burger joints, though In-N-Out would not comment on any specifics related to the settlement.

Los Angeles native John C. Miller, one of CaliBurger’s three co-founders, said, “In Asia, which has fast-growing economies…we saw more opportunity for a higher-end, premium brand.” Miller did not comment on the legal issues between his company and In-N-Out.

CaliBurger is a diner-style restaurant on Yanping Lu that currently offers eat-in dining only, but sources indicate that there are plans to introduce a delivery service in the near future.

Source: Los Angeles Times