Buffalo Wild Wings Expansion Prompts Lawsuit

Canada-based Wild Wing Restaurants claims that Buffalo Wild Wings is infringing on its "Wild Wing" trademark and says that its expansion into Canada will create confusion.

Golden Valley-based Buffalo Wild Wings, Inc., is facing a trademark suit from its Canadian competitor Wild Wing Restaurants, Inc.

According to court documents, which were filed last week in federal court in Toronto, Buffalo Wild Wings infringes on Wild Wing Restaurants' “Wild Wing” trademark through its expansion into Canada.

Wild Wing-which was founded in 1999 and has more than 80 restaurant locations in Canada-trademarked the “Wild Wing” name in 2003 in Canada. The company claims that opening Buffalo Wild Wings restaurants in Canada will cause confusion between the two restaurants.

Buffalo Wild Wings announced its expansion into Canada in August. At that time, it said that it would open more than 50 company-owned and franchised restaurants across the country in the next five years. Earlier this month, the company announced that Oshawa has been selected as the company's first location in Canada. Wild Wing currently has a location in Oshawa.

In a statement, Buffalo Wild Wings said it will continue its expansion into Canada while it resolves the suit.

“We are working closely with all parties to come to a resolution quickly,” the statement said. “During this process we are continuing to move forward with our Canadian expansion plans and are confident that we have the right to use the name and trademarks for Buffalo Wild Wings in Canada.”

In 2009, Buffalo Wild Wings filed a similar suit in Hennepin County District court against its competitor, Buffalo Wings & Rings, LLC, which later filed a counterclaim. That case has not yet been resolved.

Buffalo Wild Wings is among the state's 45-largest public companies based on revenue, which totaled $538.9 million for the fiscal year that ended in January 2010-the most recent year for which data was available.