Trademark Law

Restaurant Trademarks Rooftop Goats and Pursues ‘Cloven-Hooved’ Violations


A Wisconsin restaurant that trademarked its rooftop goats in 1996 doesn’t hesitate to pursue alleged infringers.

Al Johnson’s Swedish Restaurant in Sister Bay, Wis., has used rooftop goats to attract business since 1973, when someone gave restaurant founder Al Johnson one of the animals as a gag gift, the Wall Street Journal (sub. req.) reports.

Since the restaurant obtained its trademark, it has been “on constant lookout for other cloven-hooved intellectual-property violations,” the story says. A Wisconsin gift shop with a fake goat on its roof received a cease-and-desist letter, while a Georgia grocery store and gift shop found itself a defendant in a federal lawsuit.

The Georgia business, the Tiger Mountain Market, now pays Al Johnson’s a license to use rooftop goats.

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