This week, the owner of the prominent adult video site Pornhub renamed itself Aylo from its previous name of MindGeek, citing the "need for a fresh start."

But that rebrand is off to a choppy beginning with news that the company is going after a small restaurant in Lower Manhattan called Döner Haus, which sells a German take on Turkish kebab — and uses a logo that, to be fair, looks an awful lot like Pornhub's notorious orange-and-black lettering.

"We genuinely do not understand why they are coming for us," Döner Haus spokesperson Pauline Phan told us of the cease and desist letter, first reported by local outlet Chelsea News. "We serve sandwiches and they offer nothing even close in nutritional value or taste to what we have! We are in two completely different business sectors and we see no way how we can be confused with them."

Phan may well be right: though the Döner Haus signage seems like a pretty clear riff on Pornhub's iconic orange branding — other messages on the storefront, including "Big Döner Energy" and "Get Stuffed," do little to dissuade that impression — the branding seems likely to fall under the United States' sweeping legal protections for satire. Like Phan said, how many people are legitimately going to think that a seasoned rotisserie sandwich has anything to do with a porn site?

There's also more than a whiff of hypocrisy: Pornhub's site is chock full of videos marked "parody," with the first page of results for the term showing sexual takes on franchises ranging from "Harry Potter" to "Barbie" to "Back to the Future." (Representatives for Pornhub didn't reply to requests for comment.)

And even if Aylo thinks it can bully a local restaurant into changing its name, that seems like exactly the type of attention the company doesn't want right now.

Over the past few years, when Aylo was still known as MindGeek, Pornhub has come under fire for everything from hosting child sexual abuse content to dragging its feet taking down material that had been filmed nonconsensually. The situation hit a crisis point for the company when several credit card processors cut ties, prompting Pornhub to take the draconian step of removing all videos that hadn't been uploaded by verified users, constituting a majority of its archive.

By this past April, MindGeek announced that it had been purchased by a Canadian private equity firm called Ethical Capital Partners, and by this week, it had changed its name entirely.

"Our goal is for 'Aylo' to be synonymous with our core principles: innovation, diverse and inclusive adult content, and trust and safety," the company's management said in its press statement about the rebrand. "We wanted a fresh start, so we opted for a name that gave us that freedom, so that our team and our new owners could define it how we want."

With that kind of bold promise, you'd be forgiven if you didn't think the company's main priority was lobbing cease and desists at random kebab shops.

But in a letter provided by Döner Haus, the porn site's attorney — sent last month and still using the MindGeek name — suggests that the signage could lead customers to believe that the kebab shop was affiliated with Pornhub.

"Mindgeek’s well-known and highly distinguished reputation is due, in part, to the Pornhub Trademarks," it reads. "Döner Haus’s unauthorized use of a trademark with the same general look and feel as the Pornhub Trademarks is likely to cause confusion, or to cause mistake, or to deceive the public as to the affiliation, connection, or association in that consumers will believe that the entity Döner Haus is affiliated with, sponsored by, endorsed or in some way approved by Mindgeek, which is not the case."

In a rejoinder letter also provided by the restaurant, Döner Haus's attorney argues that the standard for infringement requires that consumers be likely to confuse between the original copyright owner and the alleged mimicker — and there's little chance that someone walking into a kebab shop in New York City is going to think that they're about to view pornography. Moreover, the restaurant's response argues, the color scheme has not been trademarked the way that, say, Tiffany Blue or Post-It Canary Yellow are.

"Your client does not own a color registration, and the registration it does own does not purport to grant or claim any rights in the colors black or orange," reads the letter by Döner Haus's attorney. "The registrations simply claims the colors as a feature of the mark."

"Frankly, I don’t know about you, but I see nothing that your client offers that I would willingly put in my mouth," it continues. "The point is that the goods and services are so disparate as to render confusion not only unlikely, but likely impossible."

More on porn: People Are Using Meta’s New AI to Make Graphic Sexbots

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