Hog's Australia's Steakhouse
Hog's Australia's Steakhouse, formerly named Hog's Breath Cafe and also known as Hog's Breath Saloon, is an Australian and international restaurant chain and franchise of steak house restaurants. The first Australian business restaurant model was opened in July 1989 at Airlie Beach, Queensland by Don Algie. In November the following year, a second store was opened in Mooloolaba. Additional locations quickly followed with stores opening in Townsville, Cairns and interstate Darwin. It purveys prime rib as its signature dish, which is slow-roasted for 18 hours.
As of December 2011, there were 69 outlets operating in Australia, 3 outlets in New Zealand, 2 outlets in Thailand and 1 in Singapore. Hog’s Breath Company also controls the licensing and use of the Jamaica Joe's trademark in Australia and overseas. Hog’s Breath Company is embarking on further expansion in other Asian countries as well as the UK, Europe and North America.
The Hog’s Breath Australia web site identifies the company as being "Creators of restaurant and bar concepts for Australia and the world'", which some might consider ironic given the nature of the origin of the Australian operation.
Hog's Breath Cafe celebrated 25 years in business in July 2014.
The ‘Original Hog's Breath Saloon’ was established by Jerry Dorminy in Ft. Walton Beach, FL, in 1976. From the late 1980s, Dorminy has used the name ‘Hog's Breath Café’ in relation to the restaurant part of his business. In establishing the Australian operation Algie appropriated key elements of Dorminy’s business including the business name, theming and logos/artwork.
Jerry Dorminy’s association with Don Algie began in 1985 when he employed Algie to organise and promote a series of yacht races in the United States. In mid-1986, Dorminy visited Algie in Australia, and during that visit Algie expressed interest in developing a bar and restaurant business in Australia. Dorminy subsequently asked Algie to register the business name ‘Hog's Breath Saloon’ in New South Wales, in his (Dorminy's) name.
Further discussions concerning the possibility of creating an operation in Australia are reported to have taken place in 1987 and 1988. Algie subsequently claimed that he then wrote to Dorminy, saying that he (Algie) intended to open a ‘Hog's Breath’ restaurant in Queensland. Dorminy later denied receipt of that letter, and asserted that he had repeatedly told Algie that "he would not be authorised" to operate his own ‘Hog's Breath’ business in Australia.
In July 1988, Algie applied on his own behalf to register the business names ‘Hog's Breath Saloon’ and ‘Hog's Breath Cafe’ in Queensland. Algie opened business as the ‘Hog's Breath Cafe’ at Airlie Beach in July 1989, and in August 1989 he applied to register the first two ‘Hog's Breath’ trademarks.
In the legal dispute that ensued, Dorminy’s primary argument was that Algie was not entitled to secure registration because the earlier relationship between himself and Algie gave rise to an obligation by Algie to act in his (Dorminy’s) interest. For reasons set out in a detailed determination dated 30 June 1994, Helen Hardie, Assistant Registrar, declined the application by Dorminy to prevent Algie from registering five Hog’s Breath trademarks.
A September 2011 media report detailed a further related development. It stated that in 2006, American designer John Lamb commenced legal action against Hog’s Breath in the Federal Court of Perth. Before Justice Robert French on 22 June 2007, Lamb claimed he owned copyright to a cartoon of a pig known as the "Wave Hog Work". He said he produced the pig in 1987 to promote the original Hog’s Breath Saloon in Florida. Lamb alleged that, from 1996, companies controlled by a former worker at the Florida eatery had infringed his copyright in various ways including applying the pig logo to clothing related to the Hog’s Breath cafes in Australia. Hog’s Breath subsequently agreed to pay Lamb $750,000, inclusive of Lamb’s legal fees.
In April 2014, a story on A Current Affair claimed that Hog's Breath had engaged lawyers Finn Roche to demand that a small industrial area takeaway on the NSW Central Coast called "Hoggy's Takeaway" cease and desist using the name Hoggy's in their business name and branding. The owner, Sam Hogg, chose the name because of his surname. He subsequently received support from the public, with more than 14,000 people signing a petition to demand that Hog's Breath Cafe retract their legal threats. Hog's Breath later applied for the trademark Hoggy's Takeaway.
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