"The mark consists of, compromises or includes immoral, deceptive or scandalous matter," the department wrote in its decision letter.
But Ardaji says "fuku" is none of those things, being an innocent Japanese word that means good fortune, wealth and prosperity. "I believe they're culturally unaware of what the word means," said his attorney James D'Loughy. "I think there is some puritanical viewpoint based on the letter we received."
Ardaji will still launch the restaurant as planned, but D'Loughy points out that sans trademark, the establishment's name is not protected from misuse by rival restaurants.