In-N-Out To Plan B Burger: We Own ‘Double Double’ Name

by Categorized: Commerce, Retail Date:

The Double Double is a big-selling menu item at the six Plan B Burger Bar locations, including the original store in West Hartford.  So, naturally we’d expect a fight when a giant West Coast chain informed Plan B that it owns the rights to use the Double Double name for burgers.

Far from it.  In fact, Plan B was thrilled to receive a request from In-N-Out, the chain of more than 275 stores based in Irvine, Cal., to stop using the DOUBLE-DOUBLE burger name.

“In-N-Out has used the DOUBLE DOUBLE  mark since at least as early as 1963 in association with sandwiches, hamburgers and restaurant service. In-N-Out also owns several federal trademark registrations for DOUBLE DOUBLE,” the chain said in a letter last week to Plan B.

Plan B, in response, will change the name of its menu item to Double D.


“The letter was polite and we’ll certainly reach out to them,” said Al Gamble, a partner in Hartford-based Local 8 Restaurant Group, which owns Plan B and Tisane and the Half-Door in the West End. “They do a wonderful job and we respect them.”

Gamble and his colleagues at Plan B said they were unaware of the In-N-Out Double Double — sometimes spelled with all-capital letters, or with a hyphen — when they launched theirs in 2006, featuring 16 ounces of beef in two patties, plus double cheddar.

Plan B has gained some notice lately, especially as part of Inc. Magazine’s 500 fastest-growing privately owned companies. “It’s nice to sort of be recognized by the big dogs in this industry,” said Rachel Hurvitz, design and media manager for Local 8.

It’s an admirable reaction by Local 8, which could possibly have mounted a battle in the complex world of trademark law. Click here for video commentary.

Plan B is a more upscale burger, with its company guarantee of “verified humane” treatment of animals and farm workers. For its part, In-N-Out, founded in 1948, pays employees at its more than 275 locations better than other fast-food joints.

No question, the In-N-Out Double Double has made its mark out West — it’s California’s listing on the Health Magazine list of  “The 50 Fattiest Foods in the States.”  What’s Connecticut’s entry? The 2-foot-long hot dog at Doogie’s.

The In-N-Out trademark is for burgers, sandwiches and restaurant service. It doesn’t prevent the National Basketball Association from promoting its Double-Double, the feat of scoring double-figures in points along with double-figures in assists, steals or rebounds. Karl Malone is the all-time leader, followed by Shaquille O’Neal — and those guys could eat a lot of Double Doubles at Plan B or In-N-Out, for sure.

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5 thoughts on “In-N-Out To Plan B Burger: We Own ‘Double Double’ Name

  1. MrLogical

    Soooooo, the state is falling apart, swimming in the largest per-capita debt in the nation. We have a governor who appoints his BFF to an executive-VP slot in his newly-created BOR of HE, and we have multi-million $$$ crony-capitalist deals with companies that are relocating WITHIN the state….

    And THIS is what the Courant considers newsworthy? A story about hamburger names?

    No wonder the Courant is foundering.

  2. Dan Haar Post author

    You have absolutely got to be kidding me. Can you spell balance? Nobody in the general media writes more fiscal and economic policy than this blogger. Besides, when a national chain compels a local, fast-growing business to give up the name of one of its key products, that’s news, my friend. It’s called an interesting story.

  3. MrLogical

    “It’s called an interesting story.”


    What’s the subscription volume for the Courant today vs. one year ago; two years ago; three years ago?

  4. Dan Haar Post author

    You may be right that we should do more serious policy and fewer whimsical stories, though I think we have a good balance. But as for readership, you are just dead wrong. Stories like this one on Plan B attract multiple times more web clicks than just about any stories about anything the governor does or does not do. It’s not even close.
    You have a real scandal I should report, not just your opinion on Malloy’s economic policy? Send it to and I can assure you it won’t get ignored by the liberal mainstream media.

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