Grassroots effort aims to ‘free the crab fries’ from Chickie’s trademark

    Chickie’s & Pete’s is best known for its crab fries. Which is why owner Pete Ciarrocchi had the “crabfries” name trademarked in 1999. Since then, anyone trying to serve some combination of crab, fries and Old Bay seasoning has found themselves on the business end of a trademark suit.

    But is the Philly-based foodery too stringent with its trademark?

    The folks behind the Free the Crab Fries blog and Save Crabby Fries Facebook group say yes. According to the Philadelphia Business Journal, both were started in response to a suit filed against a Kill Devil Hills, N.C., restaurant, which wants to use the name Crabby Fries to serve steamed crab and hand-cut fries. Ciarrocchi said today the trademark is his to enforce because he made up the “crabfries” term.

    Something tells us the blog administrator is going to have a bit of problem using the “crab-fries.com” domain.

    Feed the Feed: To what extent should a trademark be defended? Should Chickie’s & Pete’s be the lone sell of all things crab(by) fries?

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.