Following a lawsuit, a federal judge has issued a ruling requiring that Bisou, a new Uptown restaurant from Houston-based restaurateurs Cle Group, stop using its name because it’s too similar to that of nearby bakery Bisous Bisous Patisserie.
The order, issued by United States District Judge Jane J. Boyle on August 16, granted Bisous Bisous Patisserie’s request for a prelimilary injunction that would prohibit Bisou from continuing to use that name “in association with restaurant services and/or food and beverage products” in Dallas. As previously reported by Eater, Cle Group operates an outpost of Bisou in Houston, which would not be impacted by the ruling.
According to Bisous Bisous Patisserie owner Andrea Meyer, Bisou has not yet made any moves to change its name in the days following the ruling. “I’m so happy and validated to report that the judge ruled in our favor,” Meyer wrote in a Facebook post on Monday morning. “This shows that our complaint of infringement on our trademarks has merit. As of this post, they have not stopped using our name in all aspects of their business and are openly defying the court’s instruction.”
It does appear that Cle Group has made some moves to change its name, though. Online, Bisou restaurant is now going by “Cle Restaurant” or “Cle Supper Club,” and the website for Bisou Dallas is now non-functional. The Instagram account for the restaurant has been updated to include a disclaimer: “Bisou Continental Cuisine is not affiliated with Bisous Bisous Patisserie.” Scope out this post from Bisou’s Instagram account last week, which introduces the new Cle Supper Club name and describes the restaurant as “formerly Bisou.”
Despite these changes to its online presence, Bisou signage was still up in the restaurant as of mid-August, and the Yelp page for the establishment still uses the name “Bisou.”
In a response to the lawsuit from Bisous Bisous, attorneys for Cle Group issued a lengthy list of denials on August 19. The response denies Bisous Bisous’s claims that it has earned a “poor reputation,” and that it selected the name Bisou in an attempt to “deceive the public or trade upon the good will or reputation” of Bisous Bisous Patisserie.
In July, Meyer launched a GoFundMe account with the intent of raising $150,000 to help pay for legal fees in her fight against Bisou. At press time, that GoFundMe has raised just shy of $10,000. According to Meyer’s Facebook post, Cle Group has also offered a settlement proposal, which was clearly rejected. “They have no clue how much has gone into building this business and this brand,” she wrote. “No matter how much they want to use the name, I wanted it more, I had it first and I put my whole life into building Bisous’s positive reputation in our city.”
Eater has reached out to attorney’s for Cle Group for comment on Meyer’s allegation that it is flouting the court’s ruling, and will update this post with more details as they become available.