Zuma calls off the dogs

Zuma, the super-glossy Japanese-fusion haunt that’s a magnet for Knightsbridge eurotrash, has won its High Court battle against a dog-food brand of the same name.

Chef Rainer Becker, who founded the restaurant in 2002, initiated the action against the “luxury” pet-food range launched in 2014 by Kingston-based Zoe Vanderbilt.

She told the court that the brand was named after her own dog, a Japanese Akita-German Shepherd cross, while Becker argued that the association with dog food risked adversely effecting the image and reputation of his restaurant.

Judge Melissa Clarke found in Becker’s favour, ruling that Vanderbilt could no long use “Zuma” in her product’s branding or her “dineinwithzuma” website address.

The court heard that Zuma, the flagship of an 11-strong global restaurant chain, had a turnover of £14 million in 2015. The 2017 Harden’s Survey says it is “always buzzing” and the food is “truly sensational” – if very expensive.

Vanderbilt, who has appealed against the decision, offered to sell Becker the internet domain name for £500,000.


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