A federal court jury in Miami on Thursday decided that Hollywood restaurateur Mr. Chow — the original Mr. Chow — was wronged by a former employee.
After a four-week trial involving a changed name, Chicken Satay, Chicken Joanna, false advertising and deceptive conduct, the jury ruled that Philippe Chow Restaurants wronged Mr. Chow. It awarded Mr. Chow $1 million in damages.
Stratis Morfogen and the company that owns Philippe Chow Restaurants lost a countersuit.
Philippe Chow's lawyer, Anthony Accetta, called the verdict a win, noting that the jury rejected 15 out of 16 counts, including trademark infringement, unfair and deceptive trade practices, and misappropriation of trade secrets.
But the jury awarded Michael Chow $1 million for false advertising and unfair competition by deceptive conduct.
"We view this judgment as a complete victory and are satisfied that the jury sent a clear message to Morfogen and Philippe Chow Restaurants," Mr. Chow's lawyer, Bert Fields, said in a written statement. "This case was not about the money and the jury understood that despite all that he has endured, Michael Chow has and will continue to be highly successful."
The lawsuit claimed that Philippe Chau, who never was head chef, executive chef, first wok or second wok at Mr. Chow restaurants, claimed he had been "the architect of Mr. Chow's menu," "the mastermind of Mr. Chow's dishes" and had been named "top Asian chef by the most prestigious food critics."
Field argued that Philippe Chow, who changed his name from Chak Yam Chau, never created any dishes at Mr. Chow.
Accetta on Thursday said that “Michael Chow doesn’t own the dishes, and Philippe Chow doesn’t own the dishes. They’re owned by the Chinese people and have been for 3,000 years – and the jury said so.”