Regardless of its standing with steak cognoscenti in the city, there's no denying Peter Luger is an institution, in name and reputation. Which is probably why ownership of the Brooklyn legend is pretty pissed off that a Pennsylvania restaurant looks to be co-opting the Luger brand to lure in customers.
A restaurant called Carl von Luger Steak and Seafood in Scranton, Pennsylvania is being sued by Peter Luger, reports Reuters, for trademark infringement in employing the Luger name to run a similar business. Brooklyn Luger has accused PA Luger of enacting a "deliberate campaign to confuse consumers."
There is a connection, however. PA Luger owner Robert Dickert worked at a Long Island offshoot of Peter Luger and also claims that "Carl" Luger was Peter Luger's nephew. But the Carl von Luger Steakhouse website also misleadingly touts a "since 1887" family tradition—Peter Luger opened in Williamsburg in 1887 as "Carl Luger's Café, Billiards and Bowling Alley"—even though the Pennsylvania restaurant has only been open since 2011.
“To put it simply, Carl von Luger is acting as an imposter for the Peter Luger steakhouses and is ripping off its intellectual property and reputation. Robert Dickert created a fictitious name and is exaggerating his ties to Peter Luger in a deliberate effort to create a false association between Carl von Luger steakhouses and the famous Peter Luger steakhouses,” said Michael S. Elkin of Winston & Strawn, which is representing Peter Luger, Inc. “This is an egregious example of the misappropriation of the Peter Luger name and reputation and we intend to defend our claim vigorously.”
Dickert has plans to open a second Carl von Luger Steak and Seafood in North Palm Beach, Florida, and local press has dubbed the forthcoming restaurant as "an offshoot of Peter Luger of NY."
As a result of the local press coverage, "Peter Luger said it has been fielding inquiries since the article's publication about whether it was expanding into Florida, where many customers have primary residences."