The Orlando Sentinel is reporting that Universal has been hit with a lawsuit over CityWalk's brand new Toothsome Chocolate Emporium restaurant, which replaced NBA City.
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Universal is approaching a soft opening for the new landmark eatery in its CityWalk area, called The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen.
But Ohio resident Adam Limle alleges that the concept for the restaurant was actually his, and that he met with Universal executives for months to explain his concept.
Limle registered a trademark for The Chocolate Factory in 2014, and started a company that sells chocolates online called The Chocolate Factory LLC.
According to the lawsuit, “Universal….and TCF were entering into a confidential business relationship together… Universal secretly hatched a plan to develop and exploit” The Chocolate Factory concept.
Limle said he got the idea for The Chocolate Factory in 2003, when his nine-year-old daughter drew a picture of one, for a Christmas artwork depicting the North Pole. He claims in the lawsuit that he first pitched the idea to Universal in 2008.
A spokesman for Universal said only that the company does not comment on litigation.
An attorney for Limle, David Oliver, noted when Universal changed the name of its project, in May this year, to use the word Emporium instead of Factory. According to him, “Their trademark lawyers made them change the name in anticipation of this lawsuit.”