ViacomCBS Claims ‘SpongeBob SquarePants’ Restaurant Rip-Off, Files Lawsuit

We all know who lives in a pineapple under the sea. We also know where he works: the Krusty Krab.But now, there’s a new pop-up restaurant kid on the block, and the ViacomCBS legal team isn’t singing along. They are suing, claiming Houston’s Rusty Krab is too close to the SpongeBob SquarePants Krusty Krab, and thus constitutes copyright infringement.

The Rusty Krab, Houston, Texas

TMZ broke the news of the lawsuit against the Houston upstarts. The Rusty Krab’s accused of infringing on Viacom’s SpongeBob trademarks by using names, images, characters and re-creations from the show. The imitations are staged throughout its restaurant and on its menu, according to the lawsuit.

Going to the restaurant requires purchase of a ticket, with adults forking over $23 and kids $19.99. The ticket page promises photo ops as part of that package.

The Rusty Krab restaurant may have overstepped its mark when it advertised the place as “Houston’s VERY FIRST Spongebob Squarepant-Inspired Pop Up Restaurant and Bar!”

The legalese of the complaint by Viacom claims the Rusty Krab intends to deceive the public into believing it’s affiliated with the cartoon. It added the insult that the restaurant “purportedly (has) unsanitary conditions and unsafe food.”

The menu at the Houston Rusty Krab has drinks like “Pineapple Under the Sea,” “Bikini Bottom,” “Secret Formula” and “I’m Ready.” Viacom claims that violates its licensing policy on its kids show.There’s also one major issue that is not mentioned in the lawsuit – you can’t get a Krabby Patty at the Houston restaurant.


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