London Restaurant in Hot Water for Trademarking "Pho"

By Kelly Dobkin  |  September 25, 2013

Can you trademark the name of a country's national dish? A squabble over use of the word "pho" in London is raising some eyebrows over the fact that an eatery trademarked the word that is the name of a Vietnamese soup (and its national dish). Mo Pho restaurant, (pho is often used in punny names in the U.S. too) which has been open for a few years in South East London, recently received a legal letter telling it to change its name from Pho Holdings Ltd., which operates a small chain of Pho Vietnamese cafes. The letter alleged that the brand had trademarked the word "pho" six years ago.

Twitter outrage ensued from interested parties who were furious about the company's attempt to trademark the name of a soup, and by last night, Pho Cafe threw in the towel, tweeting: "We fully understand the sentiment and will not pursue the action against Mo Pho. Sorry guys." The company's marketing director admitted it was a mistake, but that the company did it to protect itself from American competitors coming to the U.K. [Guardian]

Speaking of the U.S., check out some of NYC's best noodle shops right here.