January 10, 2011 / 3:50 PM / in 7 years

Canadian firm sues U.S. rival over chicken wings

TORONTO (Reuters) - A Canadian restaurant chain is suing a bigger U.S. rival over the name both companies share, arguing that Buffalo Wild Wings Inc is acting in bad faith with its push into the Canadian market.

Privately held Wild Wing, based in Aurora, Ontario, said in a statement late last week that Mineapolis-based Buffalo Wild Wings was misleading franchisees and customers to believe its intellectual property rights are approved in Canada or that the U.S. chain is affiliated with it.

The Canadian company has some 80 restaurants open or about to open, and says that will rise to 100 by year-end.

Buffalo Wild Wings, a sports bar-and-grill chain known for its namesake Buffalo-style wings, plans to open more than 50 restaurants in Canada over the next five years, including two in Southern Ontario, and promises 3,500 new jobs. It has more than 700 restaurants in total.

It said last week it has started construction in Oshawa, its first Canadian location, and was already hiring.

Wild Wing, founded in 1999, said it would protect its reputation. Buffalo Wild Wings was founded in 1982.

Buffalo Wild Wings was not immediately available for comment.

Reporting by S. John Tilak; editing by Janet Guttsman

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