According to the settlement's terms, Saul Sierra may continue to use the name in a limited area of Colorado, a result that's made the one-time dishwasher so happy he's celebrating with a buy-one-get-one-free deal next week.
M Crowd filed the suit in court last year, arguing the firm had "expended large sums of money, resources and time to establish the valuable business and good will in the use of its 'Mi Cocina' trademark." But as Sierra pointed out, against the advice of friends who feared he was waging a doomed campaign, his restaurant opened five years before the M Crowd registered the Mi Cocina trademark.
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Many small Mexican restaurants have folded in the face of threatened legal action by the M Crowd Restaurant Group; the settlement represents a rare victory for mom-and-pop Mi Cocinas.
"This turned out great," Sierra told the Denver Post.