A Weston restaurant owner filed a lawsuit against a competing restaurant, claiming trademark infringement, use of trade secrets, and more, according to Universal Hub. Nadia Liu Spellman, the daughter of Sally Ling and Edward Nan Liu, two noted Boston restaurateurs, claims two former employees of her restaurant Dumpling Daughter appropriated her recipes for their new Chinese eatery in Millbury, Dumpling Girl.
The suit filed in U.S. District Court alleges two former Dumpling Daughter employees who left the establishment in July 2015 opened Dumpling Girl in September, using a "confusingly similar name" and "a virtually identical menu comprised almost entirely of dishes Dumpling Daughter created that currently appear or that have appeared on the Dumpling Daughter menu," in addition to Dumpling Daughter's proprietary recipes.
Spellman, who opened Dumpling Daughter in 2014 with help from her mother, incorporated classics from her mother's restaurant plus some family recipes into the menu.
"My mother is my number one consultant and the menu is based on my love for her home-cooking," Spellman told Eater in a previous interview.
According to the lawsuit, Dumpling Girl offers 41 menu items identical to Dumpling Daughter, which has sent Dumpling Girl two cease and desist letters. It also provides details of alleged deceptive practices and claims the former employees attempted to create confusion while capitalizing on the acclaim of Dumpling Daughter.
Spellman and Dumpling Daughter are seeking monetary damages for the alleged trademark infringement, unfair competition, deceptive acts, and misappropriation of trade secrets.