The owners of a small soon-to-be-open deli on Grassy Key have reached an agreement with a national surf shop giant based in Cocoa Beach that sued them for stealing its trademarked logo.
Ron Jon Surf Shop of Florida, Inc. and Grassy Key Outpost, a deli, market and grill at Mile Marker 58, reached an agreement on Oct. 9 signed by U.S. District Court Judge Jose E. Martinez that states the small business near Marathon will "permanently and forever refrain" from using any Ron Jon logo or designs its signs or any other form of advertising, according to court records.
Grassy Key Outpost was not required to concede that they intended to infringe on Ron Jon either, said its attorney Russell Yagel of Tavernier. The company is also allowed to keep up the new signs they recently erected after Ron Jon filed the federal lawsuit on Aug. 2.
Court records do not indicate that monetary damages were awarded to either side as part of the agreement.
"It's a good resolution," Yagel said, adding that he believed both sides were happy with the agreement.
Ron Jon was content with the outcome as well.
"We are pleased to come to an amicable resolution regarding this matter," Ron Jon spokesman Ryan Julison said in an email to The Citizen.
"Ron Jon Surf Shop has worked tirelessly over the past five decades to build and maintain its iconic brand. We will continue to vigorously protect our brand against anyone who may seek to unfairly profit from it."
The lawsuit listed 12 different trademarked logos used by Ron Jon Surf Shop in its principle surfwear businesses and in its resorts and restaurants that are located throughout the country, but clustered mostly in Florida. One store is in Key West at 503 Front St.
Each of the 12 slightly different logos, however, are housed in the same elliptical shield, which they referred to the "Ron Jon Shield House Mark" in the lawsuit.
Ron Jon argued its logo is distinct and customers recognize their shield logo as a "famous" mark relating to its stores.
Grassy Key Outpost owners James Mooney and John Santaniello told The Citizen in August they never intended to mimic Ron Jon's signs, but were willing to eat the cost of their new signs when the lawsuit first surfaced.
They challenged Ron Jon later when the company asked them to submit any future designs to Ron Jon for approval, which the owners argued infringed on their rights.
Attempts to reach either Grassy Key Outpost owner at the store Monday were not successful.
The Grassy Key Outpost, 8152 Overseas Highway, was slated to open in November, the owners said in August.