Sweetie Pie’s Owner Sues Her Son Over Trademark Infringement And Theft
Robbie Montgomery, reality TV star and founder of St. Louis restaurant Sweetie Pie’s, has accused her son of stealing money and misusing her trademarks to open competing restaurants, according to a lawsuit filed in federal court Tuesday.
The suit, filed in the Eastern District of Missouri, said that Montgomery discovered last summer that James T. Norman “had been misappropriating Plaintiff’s accounts and funds maintained in connection with his management of” Sweetie Pie’s in The Grove, at 4270 Manchester Ave.
The suit said Norman withdrew “substantial sums of money” from the accounts and used them to open and operate restaurants in North Hollywood, California; Berkeley and Florissant. It also said Norman has refused to return the money.
The suit accuses Norman of violating Sweetie Pie’s trademarks. “Authorized” Sweetie Pie’s locations are located in The Grove and in Dellwood, according to the suit, but TJ’s Sweetie Pie’s Noho (North Hollywood, California), TJ’s Sweetie Pie’s Airport (Berkeley) and Sweetie Pie’s Kitchen (Florissant) are not authorized. Montgomery’s first restaurant, in Dellwood, opened in 1996, and recently reopened. A listed phone number for The Grove restaurant was disconnected Wednesday.
The suit said Norman’s misuse of Sweetie Pie’s marks, registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in 2006, impairs Montgomery’s ability to operate her restaurants in the St. Louis area and to open any restaurants in the Los Angeles area.
The suit cited negative online reviews for Norman’s restaurants as having damaged the perception of Montgomery’s.