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Gibby's Seafood wins right to use of name


Gibby's it is, and Gibby's it will remain.

After a yearlong legal battle, Gibby's Seafood Restaurant in Timonium has won the right to continue using the name of its owner, Charles Gibby.

Herco Holding Co. Inc., which owns a popular Florida restaurant that trades under the name Gibby's, sued the restaurant at 22 W. Padonia Road in January, accusing the Timonium Gibby's of infringing on its trademark, according to Edward T. Colbert, Mr. Gibby's attorney.

This week, the Fort Lauderdale restaurant agreed to a dismissal of its case "with prejudice" -- which means that the suit cannot be refiled.

Mr. Colbert, of the Washington law firm Kenyon & Kenyon, said the Florida Gibby's has held a federal trademark on the name since 1982, but that Mr. Gibby was able to show that he had been using the name Gibby's in the crab business since 1976 and in the carry-out restaurant business since 1981.

The case bore some resemblance to a David vs. Goliath fight involving Japan's Sony Corp. and Baltimore restaurateur Ressurecion "Sony" Florendo, who operated a Filipino restaurant named Sony's.

In that case, Ms. Florendo decided in 1987 to settle a case filed by Sony in 1984 and changed the name of her restaurant and two food stands to S. R. Florendo.

"It's a relief," Mr. Gibby said. "You work 15 years, and you're looking at having not only your business taken away from you but your own last name."

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