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On October 27, 2006 the Subway franchisor filed suit over a Quizno's ad campaign. On Feb 23, 2010 the court issued an order dismissing the case.
Fees of the Special Master alone totalled $80K. Legal fees incurred over more than 3 years and the cost (to the parties and to taxpayers funding the courts) of generating 279 court documents must be in the hundreds of thousands--if not millions--of dollars.
Because Quizno's made fun of their competitor.
The high point (or low point for those opposed to frivolous lawsuits) came when Subway wrote in federal court pleadings as one cause of action:
[T]wo children are depicted in a submarine attack situation calling for help because of [sic] the enemy Subway ship is approaching without enough meat. The sandwich is then obliterated implying it did not have enough meat. [7th Amended Complaint at par 31]
Can anyone argue with a straight face that consumers are incapable of assessing the relative merits of a Subway sandwich as opposed to a Quizno's sandwich?
Of greater concern is the Court's ruling of February 19, in which the Court left open the possibility that a website host might be stripped of Section 230 protection. This is one of a number of recent cases to address the issue.
Subway alleged that in soliciting disparaging amateur videos such as the "enemy Subway ship...approaching without enough meat" the "viral video" agency for Quizno's ( a subsidiary of media giant Viacom) and QIP were both responsible for the creation of this horrendous slur upon the storied Subway steak sandwich, thus causing huge losses for Subway as shocked patrons deserted Subway sandwich shops in droves.
Most of the videos attracted few viewers, and were of poor quality; they can be viewed on the Spike website.
I would mock Subway, except that apparently that might result in them dragging me through federal court for the next three years.
Doctor's Associates Inc. v. QIP Holder LLC & iFilm Corp, D.Conn 3:06-cv-01710
|Doctor's Associates v. QIP 7th Amended Complaint.pdf||62.17 KB|
|Doctor's Associates v. QIP (QIP Answer to 7th Amend Comp).pdf||64.99 KB|
|Doctor's Associates v. QIP (IFILM Answer to 7th Amend Comp).pdf||53.71 KB|
|DAI v. QIP expert witnesses of QIP.pdf||109.34 KB|
|Doctor's Associates v. QIP denial of Summary Judgment 19 Feb 2010.pdf||210.56 KB|
|Doctor's Associates v. QIP Memo of Law to compel pmt fees.pdf||71.88 KB|