Judge Rules That City Owns Tavern on the Green Name

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Bridge and Tunnel Club
Tavern on the Green in less fraught days.
Bad news for Tavern on the Green's 450-plus creditors: a federal judge ruled earlier today that the city, not the LeRoy family, owns the restaurant's name. The New York Times reports that Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum ruled that the trademark "was obtained fraudulently" by Warner LeRoy in 1981, and that LeRoy "made deliberate misstatements and omissions" in his original trademark registration by neglecting to inform the government that the city was the owner of the name.

Despite the ruling, there is still some uncertainty: Dean Poll, who now holds the 20-year Tavern license, thus far hasn't commented on how the ruling will affect his contract negotiations with the city and Tavern's 400 employees. And Judge Cedarbaum withheld judgment on who owns the trademark for the LeRoys' most abundant legacy: bottles upon bottles of Tavern on the Green salad dressing.

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