US chain In-N-Out Burger has hosted several Australian pop-ups in recent years, and there’s new speculation as to why the chain continues stage these limited events on our shores.

Earlier this month, Sydney Morning Herald reported the US giant was taking Sydney eatery Down N’ Out to court, claiming the Australian business infringed the In-N-Out trademark.

Federal court proceedings were launched last year against Hashtag Burgers, which owns Down N’ Out outlets in Sydney’s CBD and Ryde.

In-N-Out Burger claims Hashtag Burgers is “passing off”, which is when a business implies their goods are those of a rival, and believes it is misleading Australian consumers.

The California-based company is seeking damages from Down N’ Out and wants the business to change its name.

While In-N-Out does not have any Australian stores, it has hosted several pop-ups across the country. In-N-Out popped up in Sydney in 2017 and Melbourne earlier this year, where it reportedly sold 300 burgers in 30 minutes.

Now, it has been revealed that the pop-ups could serve a purpose: to ensure In-N-Out Burger has an Australian presence in order to solidify its trademark and prevent Australian businesses from ripping off its name.

According to, Down N’ Out could argue that due to In-N-Out’s lack of Australian presence, it has no interests to protect. However, Australian laws require a trademarked name to be used at least once every five years, so In-N-Out’s pop-up model might be enough to protect its trademark here in Australia.

The legal battle is expected to continue until next year, with a court date set for June 2019. Both parties will return to court for a preliminary hearing on 10 August.

Image credit: Eater


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