Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Shapley's settles

The War of the Shaps is apparently over.  U.S. District Judge Carleton Reeves dismissed all lawsuits between Mark and Mary Shapley and Koestler Inc. yesterday.  The Shapleys and Koestler family were brawling in court over who had the right to the "Shapley's" restaurant name. 

 The order states: 

This matter is before the Court on the ore tenus motion of Mark J. Shapley, Mary B. Shapley, and Shapley’s, Inc. and Koestler, Inc., requesting this Court to dismiss this action with prejudice.  Having considered the motion, and having been informed that the Parties have entered into an agreement to resolve of all claims and counter-claims asserted in this action, and being fully informed in the premises, this Court finds that the motion should be granted.
IT  IS,  THEREFORE,  ORDERED  AND  ADJUDGED  that  this  action  is  hereby dismissed  with  prejudice;  that  each  Party  shall  bear  its  own  costs,  including  without limitation attorneys’ fees and other costs and expenses of litigation.

Mark and Mary Shapley sued Koestler, Inc. in U.S. District Court last month.  They opened Shapley's in 1985.  The Shapleys left the restaurant business and sold the assets such as the equipment and inventory, leased the building,  Koestler, Inc. in 1998 for $1.69 million.  Scott and Julie Koestler own Koestler, Inc.   The lease had a term of ten years with an option to renew through June, 2018.  The Shapleys claim that the lease, not the purchase, included the use of the name.  That is the major bone of contention as Koestler claims it purchased the mark. 

The Shapleys claimed in their complaint that they owned the "Shapley's" mark and that the use of the mark expires with the lease.  They also argued the Koestlers could not use the mark within a 50-mile radius of Jackson.

However, Scott Koestler filed a federal trademark application to register "Shapley's" in 2009.  His application was approved.  Mark Shapley took great offense and challenged the registration in 2017 - eight years later.  He claimed the application was fraudulent because Mr. Koestler never owned the Shapley's mark even though he stated he owned it in the application.  The Koestlers and Shapleys are still slugging it out before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.

The Shapleys asked the court to rule that they own the Shapley's mark and have the exclusive right to use it when the lease expires on June 30.  They also asked the court to enjoin Koestler from using the "Shapley's" name when the lease expires and cancel his registration.

Koestler fired right back at the Shapleys with a counterclaim.   Koestler is moving into the old Ruth's Chris Steak House site at Renaissance in Ridgeland.  Mark Shapley announced on Facebook that he and his wife were going to open a restaurant at the current location of Shapley's.   However, Koestler asked the court to enforce the non-compete clause in the lease agreement after the Shapleys began advertising online.  A hearing was going to be hold on Koestler's motion for a preliminary injunction next month but that motion is now moot.

When all is said and done, it appears there is going to be a nice restaurant opening in Renaissance and another one at the current site of Shapley's.  Since the terms of the settlement were not disclosed in court, it appears that we will have to wait until the middle of this summer to figure out what exactly happened.  Tick-tock-tick-tock-tick-tock. 

Earlier posts
The War of the Shaps Rages
The Return of the Shap
Food Fight or the Reconquista of Shapley's.


Anonymous said...

All of this and still no baked potatoes.

Anonymous said...

It begs the old question, “What’s in a name?” A lot of money and frivolity, obviously I personally would have transferred the name and inherent reputation to my own in that ten-year interim if I’d been the Koestlers. I wish both families the best and hope for good food.

Anonymous said...

"All of this and still no baked potatoes. "

But the scalloped potatoes are delicious.

Anonymous said...

I here the new place will be called Koestler's Prime and the new GM will be someone well known in the local retail wine trade with past experience at Shapley's

Anonymous said...

11:05, where?

Anonymous said...

Pony up for a private room and Scott will cook you basically whatever you want 10:05

Anonymous said...


Your first day to this site?

Anonymous said...

It's on facebook 12:35pm. The rise before the fall it seems.

Jerkson Perp said...

Should just name it Fine Whine and Crackers. Booze for Bubba, with a side of cholesterol. Litigants get 15% on Tort Tuesdays.

Anonymous said...

Mark Shapley appears to be a spiteful man. What does he think the $1.7+- he received paid for? Hope the Koestler's move on to be very successful in their new location, whatever the name. They developed the current Shapley menu and wine list, so Mark will not be left with what those of us have enjoyed at "Shapley's" for the last 20 years. The Shapley name should not be used by either party.

Anonymous said...

Ho-effin'-hum. Do people really care this much about who owns a damned steak house? It seems to me the height (or lowest depth) of irrelevancy.

Anonymous said...

So if Mark gets to keep the name “Shapleys” and Koestler has to use another name, then Mark was right? It would seem so.

Anonymous said...

Mark Shapley is the worst.
Take 1.7 million 1998 dollars and....apparently went broke?
Has to come back and, jealous of Scott’s success, wants to take name back....and sell it to his brother and nephew.
I suspect Mark will shank his brother and nephew like he did Scott and leave them with the clean up bill when this venture too swirls down the toilet.

Anonymous said...

I cannot stand scalloped potatoes or creamed spinach. Know that keeping fresh spinach is a pain, but the creamed just doesn't cut it with me for the prices charged. Scalloped potatoes are just so many more calories. Let me add my own calories.

Baby sitting Service said...

The Koestler’s will continue to provide the delicious food, service and wine selection that I have enjoyed for years. As for the other owner, I wonder if they will repay the Koestlers the $2million for babysitting their restaurant for the last 20 years.

Anonymous said...

How about say screw both of them. They are arguing over who gets to collect $80 a plate for stuff that costs $15 per plate. And there are other options in the metro area. Including the Big Green Egg!

Anonymous said...

I absolutely LOVE the smell of Shipleys in the morning when I am out for a run. I don't eat red meat, so if this becomes a contest of who gets in the last word, it will be no-contest with you old stress filled pot bellied, bitter anxious old throw-backs.

Just order an eclair and be happy. With sprinkles

Anonymous said...

I can’t wait for new location. I could care less about name. I know food will be special!!!! And people who know it will come.

Anonymous said...

6:16 pm: are you just looking to troll or do you have an actual contribution to this post? Nobody cares if you like or dislike scalloped potatoes and cream spinach. Don’t take yourself to a high calorie restaurant if you are looking to bitch and complain about wanting low calorie items. You are nobody special so go take your low calorie self to a vegan restaurant.

Anonymous said...

@6:16: you are an idiot if you believe the means should be $15 a plate. The Koestler’s want the customer to get the best of the best so obviously it will cost more. If you wish to complain then just don’t go there. They will not be losing any business, just a shitty customer

Anonymous said...

4:32 takes the day with "Ho-effin-hum" but needs to know it's irrelevance, not irrelevancy.

I never did like the location of the recent Ruth's. Seemed sort of like a bar named 'Corner Pocket', tucked away in a dungeon with a stuffy Tomater-D wearing a Holiday Inn towel on his arm.

On pay day, when some us can afford to venture out and buy a decent steak, we like a nice, free-standing building with good landscaping, gas lights and windows where you can see trees and stuff. And pictures on the wall of Archie and Ray Guy.

Anonymous said...

April 17, 2018 at 4:59 PM Anonymous said..."So if Mark gets to keep the name “Shapleys” and Koestler has to use another name, then Mark was right? It would seem so."

A very fine example of "Naivete" there 4:59!

Mississippi's injustice system does not favor the party that is "right." It favors the party with the most time and money to pay lawyer fees. "Right," in many, many cases, has nothing to do with the outcome.

The Fall of the House of Zeus and Kings of Tort will be good reading for you while listening to Don Henley's song "Get Over It" during intermissions.

Check back in with us after your completion of your reading assignment.

Anonymous said...

I, on the other hand, could NOT care less, 8:40.

Anonymous said...

April 17, 2018 at 3:10 PM: Shapley probably thinks the money he paid goes towards whatever was in the signed contract. Apparently that did not include the purchase of the name "Shapleys." If it had, that would have been clear in the contract. I'm not sure why Shapley is spiteful in this. Seems that Koestler wants to keep using something past his contract date.

Anonymous said...

April 18, 2018 at 12:59 AM "Tucked away", seriously? Get lost much?

Anonymous said...

12:16; Yes, tucked away as in stuck in the inside corner of an oversaturated circular strip mall. Get out much?

Anonymous said...

Hey, 10:10 I'll tell you what's in a name. Mark Shapley will now be able to "sell or lease" the Shapley's restaurant a second time. The name has brand recognition in Jackson as a quality restaurant. So, the Shapley's can now find someone else gullible to give them something of value (money) in exchange for that name and restaurant. The Shapleys will wind up doubling their money on the same restaurant!

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