Potato Commission Forces Idaho Fry Company Name Change

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The Idaho Potato Commission has given newly opened Idaho Fry Company until the end of August to change its name.

According to IFC co-owner Blake Lingle, he and his business partner legally registered the restaurant's name three months prior to opening to the public. However, days before IFC threw down its first batch of fries, Lingle and partner Riley Huddleston were notified that the commission has a certification mark on the use of the word "Idaho" with a contingency on anything relating to potatoes, including "free, fresh, frozen or dehydrated." Not, however, "fries."

Lingle argues that fries are an end product of potatoes, much like T-shirts are an end product of cotton. But the commission isn't having it. Lingle said he and Huddleston had hoped to get the business up and running before dealing with the name change, which will necessitate changing the sign, business cards, the Web site and the logo.

So what's the new name? Well, it's not going to be Boise Fry Company. Turns out Idaho Potato Commission has "Boise" locked down, too.

Lingle said he and Huddleston consulted with a few intellectual property attorneys prior to opening up shop. Their point was this: Idaho Potato Commission has little legal argument with heaps of financial backing while Idaho Fry Company has a decent legal argument with no financial backing. To fight the commission could cost them their business, so a name change it is.

Not that anyone's asking for it, but this is BW's blog and we do tend to offer up an opinion every now and again on our blog so here it is ...

Aren't enough local businesses struggling these days without nitpicking from the head potato heads?

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