A U.S. District Court Judge in Manhattan ruled on Thursday that the 2nd Avenue Deli may keep selling its "Instant Heart Attack" sandwich and other cardiac-themed meals, noting clear differences between the deli and the Heart Attack Grill.
The 2nd Avenue Deli's potato pancake- and meat-based sandwiches pose little risk of being confused with the Heart Attack Grill, which sells giant cheeseburgers and fries cooked in lard, U.S. District Court Judge Paul Engelmayer ruled.
In May 2011, the Heart Attack Grill warned the 2nd Avenue Deli to cease serving its Instant Heart Attack Sandwich or be hauled into court for trademark violation.
Engelmayer said "it is safe to say" even unsophisticated customers could readily differentiate between a Manhattan kosher deli selling latke-based sandwiches and a medically-themed Las Vegas restaurant selling "gluttonous" cheeseburgers.
The judge also noted that the 2nd Avenue Deli, being kosher, cannot serve sandwiches that include both meat and cheese, such as the Triple Bypass burger.
The Heart Attack Grill had conceded during the litigation that the New York deli could be entitled to "limited" use of the disputed names. Engelmayer limited the 2nd Avenue Deli's use of the disputed names to restaurants in Manhattan.