The plaintiffs each operate restaurants in West Orange, Essex County. The restaurants are "Mayfair Farms" and "Pal's Cabin." That they are under the same management, or closely related managements, is indicated by the verifying affidavits attached to the complaint and to the amendment to the complaint.
The defendant Socony Mobil Oil Company, Inc. is about to market a book entitled "Mobil Travel Guide" which relates to hotels, motels and restaurants in New Jersey, New York and all of the New England states. This book is printed and ready for market. According to its title page and adjacent pages it has been "researched, edited and published" by Simon and Schuster and the copyright is held by Socony Mobil Oil Company, Inc. The introduction of the publishers on the inside of the front cover suggests a plan to revise annually the listings and ratings given. The book is in paperback form, contains 480 pages and 49 of these are devoted to New Jersey. The paper used appears to be inexpensive and the sales price printed on the cover is $1.
The Mobil Travel Guide gives a rating to the establishments listed in it. The symbols used are as follows:
"checkmark -- an unusually good value, relatively inexpensive
**** -- excellent, worth a special effort to reach
***** -- outstanding -- one of the best in the country"
The plaintiff Mayfair Farms is given a rating of two stars, or "good." Pal's Cabin is given a rating of one star, or "better than average." Both plaintiffs complain that their restaurants are rated too low, that the ratings given are unwarranted and unjustified and detrimental to the plaintiffs and their respective businesses. The relief sought is an injunction preventing the defendants from selling or otherwise distributing the Mobil Travel Guide containing the ratings which are alleged to be improper.
The defendant Mobil Oil Company has been joined because it is the channel, allegedly, through which distribution of the Guide will be made.
On June 2 argument was heard on the plaintiffs' application for an interlocutory injunction and on the defendants' motion to dismiss the complaint. It is obvious that a prompt decision as to an injunction is of great importance to the defendants, who plan to launch at once, if not enjoined, a widespread campaign of advertising and ...