Posted: Sep 27, 2011 5:58 PM by MIKE MAGNOLI
Updated: Sep 27, 2011 5:58 PM
There are a few Louisiana brands that you would probably recognize anywhere.
Tabasco. Community Coffee. And Tonys.
But Tony Chacheres says another company is trying to capitalize on its 40-year history.
Chachere's President tells Mike Magnoli, imitation, in this case, is not a form of flattery and it's illegal.
Look closely at these packages of sausage: Do you see any similarities? How about these easy to make dinners? Side by side, this is the stuff lawsuits are made of.
"I am not sure about all the legal jargon its all legal gobble-dee-guk, but its really about protecting our brand image."
That's what Don Chachere Jr., the president of Tony Chachere's. Inside his Opelousas office he has set up a showcase for us-- Tony's products next to products made by Big Easy. Years ago the two companies had a partnership, but when they cut ties a few months ago--
"We believe they have hijacked our brand." Chachere says.
It's not that the colors on the box are the same- but it's the look and feel Tony's says the company has taken.
That's why Tony's is sueing Big Easy - a federal judge is reviewing the case, meanwhile here's what Big Easy says. Nevermind the box, the owner says it's what inside that matters.
"Those are our recipes- we were making those things long before we even went with Tony Chacheres and that's the most important thing to remember here."
And so the cajun food war begins. Suit was filed Friday, the case could get a judgement this week.