A preliminary injunction posted on the Trademark Blog orders Brooklyn slice joint Joe’s Pizza of Bleecker Street to stop advertising a connection to “Famous” Joe’s Pizza of 7 Carmine Street and its original location on Bleecker Street. We haven’t seen a pizza-related trademark battle like this since Patsy’s vs. Patsy’s, or Ray’s vs. Ray’s!
In this case, the owner of the original Joe’s, Pino Pozzuoli, is suing Giuseppe Vitale, an ex-employee (and ex-son-in-law), who in 2005 opened Joe’s Pizza of Bleecker Street on Kings Highway in Brooklyn. Newcomer Vitale allegedly lied in a trademark application that he was the founder of the original Joe’s on Bleecker Street (which famously closed in 2004, leaving only the Carmine Street location). A judge has ordered him to cease using reviews and photos of the Village location in promoting the Brooklyn shop, since “the Court concludes that the plaintiff is likely to prevail on its fraudulent representation claim.”
Vitale can, however, continue calling himself “Joe’s Pizza of Bleecker Street,” since Joe’s Pizza is a pretty generic name and Pozzuoli may or may not prevail in his trademark-infringement case (after all, the unrelated Joe’s Pizza on Prospect Park West has been around since the sixties). Whatever the eventual outcome, there’s only one Joe’s Pizza that Lou Reed goes to.