Lefty O'Doul's Files Lawsuit Against the Handlery Family for Trademark Violation

January 20, 2017

Lefty O’Doul’s, owned by the Bovis family, filed a lawsuit in Federal Court in San Francisco against the Handlery family and their press firm, Singer Associates.  The lawsuit was filed by the law firm Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy for trademark infringement and other violations.

The lease for Lefty O’Doul’s expires in February 2017 and the lawsuit alleges that the Handlery Hotels, Inc. – the landlord - knew the Bovis family owned the rights to the intellectual property, including the Lefty O’Doul’s mark, in connection with a restaurant displaying sports memorabilia.  It is alleged that recently the Handlery intentionally began to publicly insist that the Handlery family owned the rights to the restaurant name, contents and all memorabilia.  Defendant Sam Singer, as agent for Handlery, stated the Handlery’s would reopen the restaurant with the Lefty O’Doul’s name under new management as they owned the name and memorabilia.

In 1997, Jim and Gracia Bovis entered into a lease with Handlery Hotels, Inc. for the location of Lefty O’Doul’s on Geary Street in San Francisco.  From December 1997 to January 1998, Jim, Gracia and Nick Bovis worked with Don Figone, the previous restaurant and bar operator, to take over the operation of Lefty O’Doul’s.  According to the complaint, at no point during the lease negotiations did Handlery Hotels Inc. indicate that they owned the trademark for Lefty O’Doul’s or the memorabilia that existed in Lefty O’Doul’s.  In 2004, JGX, Inc., owned by the Bovis family, trademarked the name with the U.S. Patent and Trademark office.  It is only in the last several months that Handlery publicly claimed that they owned the name Lefty O’Doul’s.  They were warned they were harming the celebrated and landmark tourist bar and restaurant located in Union Square.  The complaint seeks damages, attorney fees and a request to the court for further action against Handlery and Singer.    

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