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L&L defends noodle-bun burger launch

By Erika Engle

LAST UPDATED: 03:14 p.m. HST, Feb 04, 2014

L&L Drive-Inn today said it regrets the recent flap over the launch of its ramen burger but will push ahead with selling the item in all 182 restaurants. 

They will be called saimin burgers in Hawaii.

L&L clarified its use of a video showing preparation of a trademark-pending Go Ramen Burger by Jeff Shimamoto and his wife. 

The video was sent as an attachment to an L&L newsletter sent to franchisees and major vendors, the L&L statement said.

"We regret any confusion that may have been caused by our internal newsletter that may have been electronically forwarded without our consent," it said.

"It was not L&L's intent to convey that somehow these individuals or entities have endorsed or approved L&L's products, or somehow affiliated with L&L in any form or fashion."

Jeff Shimamoto is the brother of Keizo Shimamoto, the chef credited with popularizing the burger with buns made of ramen noodles in the U.S.

Also an attorney, Jeff Shimamoto told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser yesterday he was contemplating legal action over L&L's unauthorized use of his likeness and that of his wife in their marketing materials.

The L&L newsletter dated Friday also contained a poster of the saimin burger it launched in Honolulu last week, which will be marketed as a ramen burger at L&L's mainland locations.

Jeff Shimamoto said the legal issue he may pursue was not one of trademark infringement.

L&L co-founder Eddie Flores today told the Star-Advertiser that it is his belief that the term "ramen burger" is generic and that the company is contemplating filing opposition to the trademark application filed by Keizo Shimamoto in August.

Meanwhile, Flores said his trademark application also has been filed at the national level.

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opalaedo wrote:
Oh, so it's like the chocolate-dipped cookies by Honolulu Cookie Company and Big Island Cookies.
on February 4,2014 | 01:58PM
warriorsanddolphins wrote:
this is exactly why you have to get patents on your products. As soon as somebody sees how successful your product is they copy your product for their own profit. Shame on Land L.
on February 4,2014 | 02:04PM
aomohoa wrote:
I'm not sure you can patent something like this.
on February 4,2014 | 02:17PM
groinksan wrote:
Actually, things like a ramen burger is not only trademark-able and patent-able, but the person who receives the patent can sue others under the so-called "dress" argument. If Product X looks like the patented Product Y, then the patent owner can sue for consumer confusion. Apple has successfully used this against Samsung over the Galaxy phones looking like iPhones and clone computers using the same shape and color as the iMac. L&L can make a burger out of ramen noodles. They're just not allowed to call the burger the trademark pending "ramen burger", or to make the burger look like Shimamoto's ramen burger. A ramen burger isn't common like a hamburger or beef stew. Maybe in 50 years it will be, but patent law is designed so that an inventor can enjoy the revenue of his invention during his lifetime.
on February 4,2014 | 09:54PM
64hoo wrote:
L&L did not copy there product just have there saimin burger on a sesame seed bun and there you go. the ramen burger looks like they are using English muffin. so lets just say who invented the English muffin and all types of hamburger buns there patent was stolen by all these burger enterprises.
on February 4,2014 | 10:16PM
PokeStop wrote:
What does Flores know about ramen or saimin? Your specialty is pancit or adobo! Anything L & L is a quick death for local food as they're killing the name local plate lunch. Slop is what they sell.
on February 4,2014 | 02:08PM
RetiredWorking wrote:
For $5.95, I'll try the slop.I LIKE! L&L food!
on February 4,2014 | 02:55PM
localguy wrote:
Didn't stop you from eating there.
on February 4,2014 | 09:49PM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
Ah, old Chinese trick. Confucious say "If other chop suey sell out, go find secret". Then get secret, copy. Chop chop if not make chepa!
on February 4,2014 | 02:36PM
tasod wrote:
Too true, they mimic the homeland very well.
on February 4,2014 | 06:40PM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
What gets me is Flores use Chinese cooks and calls it Hawaiian Barbecue on the mainland. No originality, just slop.
on February 4,2014 | 02:38PM
localguy wrote:
Your are just jealous about how successful he has been. Restaurants in the Nei and in the mainland. Doing very well. Why are you prejudiced against Chinese? must be a racist? Not all the cooks are Chinese, I have seen Filipino, Caucasian. locals and some I could not tell when visiting mainland L&Ls.
on February 4,2014 | 09:51PM
islandsun wrote:
How Much$
on February 4,2014 | 02:39PM
dlg808 wrote:
Stick with the Chicken Katsu...no need da saimin burger
on February 4,2014 | 02:43PM
64hoo wrote:
also stick with the new York steak and garlic chicken combo. damn good plate lunch
on February 4,2014 | 10:20PM
64hoo wrote:
stick with the steak and garlic chicken combo no need saimin burger
on February 4,2014 | 10:25PM
jmbee wrote:
So typical of L&L to counterfeit its food. Flores is a pure opportunitst who makes a cheap buck on the backs of true food innovators. Its embarrasing they use "Hawaiian BBQ" in their signs in their mainland franchises. There is nothing hawaiian about L&L and should not be the sole representaion of what local food is about.
on February 4,2014 | 03:11PM
tasod wrote:
They may as well offer counterfeit Guchi bags. Same mindset - and background.
on February 4,2014 | 06:42PM
Mahalo wrote:
Don't let the big bully L & L Push you around and Flores attorneys.. They did rip you off!
on February 4,2014 | 04:03PM
kainalu wrote:
How the hell can somebody claim a burger and saimin are exclusively theirs? The idea of slapping them together? Sure.
on February 4,2014 | 06:33PM
tasod wrote:
Greedy *assturds . not an original thought in their heads - and they ride the wave of someone else's unique creation - just for profits. It's just like that big Asian communist country that counterfeits goods. Hmm, very similar indeed in more ways than one.
on February 4,2014 | 06:39PM
nigelUV001 wrote:
L and L should make a healthier version of their mac salad and look into serving grilled mahi mahi instead of wasting their time with the saimin burger. The saimin burger looks like it will just clog your arteries.
on February 4,2014 | 08:22PM
WalkoffBalk wrote:
Where's Professor Ramen?
on February 4,2014 | 11:03PM
CartwrightPark wrote:
No shame L&L. Probably gonna taste junk anyways. Nobody eats at L&L anymore eh?
on February 5,2014 | 08:57AM
juscasting wrote:
Hmmm? So, I'm a crook everytime I make a Spam Musu or Hum Ha Pork with Watercress dish at home?
on February 5,2014 | 10:41AM
RandolphW wrote:
Who really gives a crap about a noodle burger?
on February 5,2014 | 10:41PM
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