One Florida pizza chain is facing a legal battle over the design of their logo. Co-owners Skip Parratt and Paul DiMatteo opened the Jersey Boardwalk Pizza Co. in Florida. Their logo has the same color scheme as the Garden State Parkway sign and the New Jersey Turnpike Authority is not happy about it.
The Turnpike Authority has filed a federal lawsuit which alleges “service mark infringement” and “unfair competition” among other things. The suit claims that the restaurant’s logo is close enough to the Parkway sign that it might give the impression to unsuspecting customers that the two are related. The first Jersey Boardwalk Pizza Co. opened 10 years ago.
“It’s hysterical,” says Parratt, who used to reside in New Jersey. “We’re all the way in the Florida Keys. It’s not like people are going to confuse us.”
The Turnpike Authority claims that the restaurant is working towards a franchise of the brand nationwide.
A spokesperson for the authority says “This is not just about some pizza joint in the Florida Keys.” They are insisting that the restaurant give up the trademark and turn over any merchandise that bears the logo.
Parratt and DiMatteo acknowledged the similarities in the log when they applied for the trademark and the trademark was still granted. The authority feels it should not be valid because the request for the trademark was not entered until after the authority had contacted the owners asking them to stop using it.
Parratt says, “They want us to take it all down, but we’re going to fight this because it’s so absurd.”