Friday, November 17, 2006

Iskenderian v. Iskenderian (Cal. Ct. App. - Nov. 17, 2006)

It's lunchtime. And I haven't had anything to eat. So you'll have to excuse me if I started to drool when I read this opinion.

It's about the Zankou Chicken restaurants, which are a yummy staple of Los Angeles. I remember one of the places on the corner of Sunset and Normandie in Hollywood, "back in the day" (i.e., when I was an Angelino). Lebanese chicken. Yummy.

The legal discussion in the opinion by Justice Boland isn't particularly interesting. The case involves a familial squabble about who owns the trademark to the name "Zankou Chicken," and the resolution of the case largely revolves around fact-specific inquiries. So if you're looking for a fascinating and in-depth discussion of IP, this one ain't for you.

If, howwever, you're looking to read an interesting story -- in particular, about one family's struggles (and fights) during the creation of a Lebanese restaurant chain -- this is definitely worth a read. It's got immigrants struggling to make a living, a family patriarch, success in the American dream, family drama and intrigue, the involvement of selfish (and perjurious) widows, and -- in the end -- murder, as a son, diagnosed with cancer, shoots and kills his mother, sister, and himself. The facts of the case have very little to do with the ownership of the trademark. But they nonetheless allow an interesting way to peek into another family's life, and make for a good read on a lazy Friday afternoon.

P.S. - On the Zankou Chicken website, the section on "Our History" omits the part about the murders. Hardly a surprise, eh?