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Intelligencer: February 28-March 7

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Deuling Jean-Lucs!
Trademarking a first name.
Tthe battle over who’s the real Jean-Luc is getting as bad as who’s the Original Ray. “I’ve gotten calls from twenty people, including my father, asking if I’m opening a wine store,’’ says Edmond “Jean-Luc’’ Kleefield, who owns Jean-Luc on Columbus Avenue and Jean-Luc East in East Hampton and has carried the Francophone nickname since he was in high school. This is because Jean-Luc Le Dû, former chief sommelier at Daniel since ’95, wants to use the name for a wine store he is opening on Washington Street in June. “My daddy is Jean and my mother’s name is Lucie—it is an homage to my parents as well,’’ says Le Dû. “My friend is a trademark lawyer and he said in this country you can call anything by your own name.” But Kleefield is unassuaged. “They don’t open Jean Georges wines!’’ he says. Kleefield’s lawyer whisked off a cease-and-desist letter, claiming trademark infringement and noting that he’s been operating businesses since 2001 under that name. “What I find funny,’’ says Le Dû, whose lawyer sent Kleefield a letter in response, “is that when he opened his restaurant, I got dozens of phone calls including the New York Times asking if I was opening my own place. My reputation in this industry is much more important than his. I don’t know why he is trying to pick a fight with me.’’
—Beth Landman


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