Chipotle Is Dropping The Legal Hammer On Sweetgreen's Burrito Bowl

No doubt about it, we love Chipotle's burrito bowls. However, fast food salad chain Sweetgreen also seems to have decided it likes burrito bowls, and Chipotle isn't having it. In light of Sweetgreen introducing a "Chipotle Chicken Burrito Bowl" (really, Sweetgreen, you didn't see a problem there?) on March 30, Chipotle filed a lawsuit for "trademark infringement," among other offenses.

According to NPR, the lawsuit argues that Sweetgreen is trying to piggyback off Chipotle's burrito bowl success by copying the chain's menu items, mimicking its signature fonts and colors, and even using its trademark. 

Before we all jump to saying Chipotle is lawsuit-happy, it's worth pointing out that the chain claims to have "sent a written demand that Sweetgreen cease" upon first hearing about the infringement. The lawsuit alleges that the request went ignored, leaving Chipotle no choice but to take legal action, but the story doesn't end there.

Every issue Chipotle has with Sweetgreen's new burrito bowl

As noted by Chipotle's April 4 lawsuit, the Sweetgreen "Chipotle Chicken Burrito Bowl" infringes on trademarked property in many ways. For one, Sweetgreen's bowl contains nearly identical ingredients to Chipotle's burrito bowls, and uses the Chipotle trademark — capitalizing 'Chipotle,' copying fonts and colors, you get the idea.

Sweetgreen also used the Chipotle trademark in social media marketing that otherwise lacked "any other source-identifying name or trademark," which Chipotle claims shows "intent to affirmatively create a false association." As such, Chipotle requested in its lawsuit that Sweetgreen be kept from "committing any acts likely to confuse the public into believing that Sweetgreen [is] associated, affiliated, or sponsored by Chipotle."

Apparently, the lawsuit did what it needed to, though, because according to CNBC, Sweetgreen issued a statement on April 6 saying it would be renaming its burrito bowl the "Chicken + Chipotle Pepper Bowl." The online menu has yet to be updated to reflect this change, but hopefully, that'll happen soon.