RIDGELAND — The current owners of Shapley’s insist they bought the name with the restaurant two decades ago in response to a federal lawsuit Mark Shapley filed last month over naming rights.

The owners deny Shapley’s claim that the name wasn’t included in the $2 million sale.

Shapley’s plans to move to the Renaissance this summer and Mark Shapley and his wife plan to open a restaurant at the Centre Street location.

The current owner of Shapley’s, Koestler Inc. — comprised of husband/wife duo Scott and Julie Koestler — will move to the former Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse location.

The Koestler’s, too, plan to carry the name Shapley’s to their new location.

Shapley argued that the initial 1998 lease agreement spelled out that once the lease was over the exclusive rights to Shapley’s were also lost.

Shapley further alleged that Koestler filed a federal trademark application to register the name when he should not have.

Scott Koestler responded that in 2008 he registered for a federal trademark on the name for “restaurant and bar services” and that was not challenged by Shapley for nine years, until September 2017.

“(Shapley) exhibited undue delay in challenging Koestler’s claim of ownership to the ‘Shapley’s’ service mark and Koestler’s registration of the ‘Shapley’s’ service mark,” Koestler’s response reads. “(Shapley’s) undue delay in challenging Koestler’s claim of ownership to the ‘Shapley’s’ service mark and in filing a petition to cancel the ‘Shapley’s’ service mark demonstrates a lack of diligence.”

Koestler argues he has invested and promoted in that name since 2009 when the trademark was obtained.

“Had (Shapley) challenged Koestler’s claim of ownership in the ‘Shapley’s’ service mark or Koestler’s intent to register the mark in December 2008 and January 2009, Koestler could have rebranded Shapley’s Restaurant,” the filing reads. “Rebranding would have allowed the goodwill Koestler has generated since January 2009 to accrue to an alternate mark not challenged by (Shapley).”

Koestler is asking the court for sole ownership of the Shapley’s name and any losses associated with the controversy.

An initial telephone case management conference has been scheduled for May 14 before Magistrate Judge Linda R. Anderson.