Lars Johnson is proud of his restaurant’s Swedish-meatball sandwich and pickled herring. But the signature offering at his Al Johnson’s Swedish Restaurant is the goats herd on the grass-covered roof. Any other business thinking of putting goats on the roof will have Mr. Johnson’s lawyers to contend with.“The restaurant is one of the top-grossing in Wisconsin, and I’m sure the goats have helped,” says Mr. Johnson. When a tourist spot 750 miles away introduced a rooftop–caprine population, Mr. Johnson made a federal case of it. The offending market’s owner, said that …it would have been too expensive to fight. He considered replacing his goats with pigs. However, he was to worried that the heft and tendency to “root around” by a porcine crowd would pose a danger to people below.
Al Johnson’s is on constant lookout for other cloven-hooved intellectual-property violations. Mr. Johnson says the restaurant’s Milwaukee law firm has sent letters to other alleged offenders, such as a gift shop in Wisconsin with a fake goat on its roof. It removed the ersatz ungulate. Any business that sells food and uses goats to lure customers may be violating the trademark, says the restaurant’s lawyer. Meanwhile, a red pickup arrived at the restaurant on Saturday morning with four bleating passengers: Buckshot, Charlotte, Copper and Flipper….
High on a roof is a tiny goat herd….with a trademark: Goats™