Wegmans Fish Shop Stole My Concept, Merchant Claims

Good morning. It’s Tuesday. Today we’ll look at a small Manhattan fish market whose owner says the supermarket chain Wegmans copied his operation at a new store nearby. We’ll also get details on developments in some of the cases involving Donald Trump.

Credit…James Estrin/The New York Times

Sakanaya, in the Wegmans supermarket on Astor Place, says it is “a fish market unlike any other.”

Yuji Haraguchi disagrees, saying it is a fish market like his, Osakana, a few blocks away.

Last month he took Wegmans and several smaller food-related companies to court, accusing them of pirating his concepts. Wegmans said his lawsuit was “without merit,” and now the other defendants in his lawsuit have countersued him.

Haraguchi’s lawsuit, filed in State Supreme Court in Manhattan, said that Sakanaya had “an uncanny and confusingly similar resemblance” to his store: Osakana means “fish” in Japanese, and Sakanaya means “fish shop.” Even the typography on Sakanaya’s signs was the same as on Osakana’s, the lawsuit said.

“A lot of people thought that was me” when Sakanaya opened because “the name was so close,” he told me. Haraguchi said in a petition on the website that he had not known Sakanaya was coming. He found out when someone sent him a message that said: “Congratulations on opening Osakana in Wegman.”

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