Montreal Restaurants Clash Over Stolen Poutine Recipe

CBC News, Dec 12, 2013 11:39 AM ET

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Planète Poutine et Cie owner claims L’Univers de la Poutine stole the idea for his signature dish featuring fried potatoes, hot sauce, mozzarella, and sour cream.

The owner of a Trois-Rivières poutine restaurant is threatening legal action because he says a competitor stole his name and copied his menu.

The owner of the restaurant chain Planète Poutine et Cie, Yves Junior Boissonneault, is unhappy a competitor opened its doors across the bridge in Trois-Rivières​ and called itself L’Univers de la Poutine — The Poutine Universe.

Yesterday, Boissonneault gave L’Univers de la Poutine five business days to change its name before he started legal proceedings.

Boissonneault claims that not only did his competitor copy his restaurant’s name, but people from L’Univers de la Poutine filmed inside his restaurant and started serving the same menu items.

Boissonneault is particularly upset that his competitor is serving a dish made from chicken wing sauce, mozzarella cheese and sour cream — a delicacy he says he invented.

“If someone started a restaurant and served its own poutine, it wouldn’t bother me. But to copy and serve poutine with the same ingredients, I can’t accept that,” said Boissonneault. Boissonneault is demanding his competitor change his menu and his name, or he’ll take him to court.

But L’Univers de la Poutine owner Alain Laflamme says that’s not going to happen. Laflamme says anyone can sell poutine and that Boissoneault shouldn’t worry because the restaurants are too far apart to compete. About five kilometres and a bridge crossing separate the two. “The people of Trois-Rivières do not cross the bridge. I didn’t even think we could compete with him,” said Laflamme.

Planète Poutine et Cie​ opened Trois-Rivières in February 2012 and was featured on Radio-Canada’s Dans l’œil du dragon, a television show that features aspiring entrepreneurs hoping to receive financing for their business ideas. They plan to open 14 restaurants by April 2014.

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