Subway sues S’pore company Subway Niche

SINGAPORE – A local nonya kueh chain, Subway Niche, is being sued by American sandwich chain Subway for trademark infringement.

A two-day hearing into the case began in the High Court on Tuesday.

On October 29, 2007, the owner of Subway Niche received a “cease and desist” letter from Subway alleging that the former had infringed on its trademark rights. A year later, it went to court but the case was subsequently dismissed, local news sources reported.

According to The Straits Times, the American sandwich chain, owned by Florida-based Doctor’s Associates, started taking legal action after it became aware that Subway Niche had also begun selling sandwiches. It claims the public will be confused by the similarity in trademarks.

Subway has been selling sandwiches since the 1960s and has become the world’s largest fastfood chain with close to 35,000 stores in 98 countries.

Subway Niche, on the other hand, has five outlets – the first of which was opened in 1987 at the basement of Wisma Atria – in Singapore. It sells local snacks like nyonya kueh, nasi lemak, mee siam and mee rebus. More recently, it also included sandwiches, cakes and pastries on its menu.

The hearing continues today.

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