Chef’s Legal Battle: Matsumoto Sues Pho Real LLC for Unauthorized Image Use

Photo-300x179Plaintiff Shoichi Matsumoto has sued Defendant Pho Real LLC, alleging copyright infringement of Matsumoto’s original work, a photograph titled “Yakisoba-4”. Matsumoto, a private chef, TV host, and photographer, claims that Pho Real used his copyrighted work without permission on their website and on a food ordering platform, Grubhub Inc., to promote its restaurant business. Matsumoto asserts that he owns the copyright to the image and had not licensed or authorized Pho Real to use it.

The complaint specifies that Matsumoto registered the work with the Copyright Office and that Pho Real’s actions of copying, displaying, and distributing the photograph were unauthorized and willful. Matsumoto alleges that he suffered irreparable harm due to Pho Real’s actions and seeks damages, including Pho Real’s profits from the infringement or statutory damages, along with legal fees and costs. Additionally, Matsumoto requests a preliminary and permanent injunction to prevent Pho Real from further infringing on his copyright.

The case has been assigned to Judge Sarah Evans Barker and Magistrate Judge Kellie M. Barr, in the U.S. District Court of Southern Indiana, and assigned Case No. 1:23-cv-02059-SEB-KMB.


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