« Teen shot near his Hallandale Beach home | Main | Pregnant woman shot dead while being shown gun »

N.J. Turnpike sues Keys pizza parlor over name

Jersey turnpike

By David Goodhue, KeysInfoNet

The New Jersey Turnpike Authority filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against Plantation Key's Jersey Boardwalk Pizza this week.

The suit, filed July 21 in New Jersey federal court, claims the mile marker 90.5 pizza and sandwich shop's logo is too similar the Garden State Parkway logo. Both circular logos are green with a yellow border.

The turnpike's says "Garden State" along the top, while Boardwalk's says "Jersey Boardwalk." The middle of the Turnpike Authority's logo say's "Parkway" while Boardwalk's says "Pizza Co." The Turnpike Authority logo has no words along the bottom of the circle; Boardwalk's says "Subs. Cheesesteaks. Pasta."

Both logos contain an image of the map of New Jersey in their center.

The lawsuit states Boardwalk "willfully and blatantly misappropriated" the turnpike's registered trademark "in an effort to trade upon the fame and goodwill associated with" the turnpike's logo and "to attract customers and potential franchisees from the state of New Jersey."

Thomas Feeney, a Turnpike Authority spokesman, said the lawsuit came about because Boardwalk's franchising company, Jersey Boardwalk Franchising Co. Inc., says on website that it aims to open franchises throughout the East Coast.

"This is not just about some pizza joint in the Keys," Feeney said.

JoyAnn Kenny, Boardwalk's attorney, blasted the lawsuit, saying, "I would think that a better use of taxpayer funds would be to focus expenditures on the condition and safety of our highways rather than to fund a lawsuit against a Florida pizza restaurant."

Feeney said the agency's lawyer sent a letter to Boardwalk owners Paul Dimatteo and George Platt asking them to stop using the logo, but the company has not taken it down from its website or from outside its South Florida locations in Plantation Key and Florida City.

"They refused. And here we are," Feeney said.

Boardwalk opened on Plantation Key in 2006 and has been using a similar logo ever since, Kenny said. The original simply stated "Boardwalk Pizza," which has since been updated to say "Jersey Boardwalk Pizza."

"There is clearly no plausible likelihood of confusion among patrons of the restaurant, or prospective franchises, as to any affiliation or association with the N.J. Turnpike Authority," Kenny said in an e-mail. "That proposition is simply ridiculous."

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued Jersey Boardwalk Pizza a federal registration for its logo in 2011.

Kenny added that there are "countless businesses right here in New Jersey making use of the logo and various renditions thereof in connection with all sorts of goods and services."

Nevertheless, Feeney said that unless Boardwalk changes its logo, the Turnpike Authority's lawsuit will continue.

"We wish the owners well in their effort to spread the joy of New Jersey-style pizza along the East Coast," Feeney said. "But we're going to insist that they come up with their own logo rather than using ours."

 

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

miamicanes

It says, "JOISEY" I ain't stoppin'

Richard

How about the State of Florida ensure equal justice and ensure that all other businesses using the "similar logo" in New Jersey take down the logo as well. Of all places the company might want to start right in their own back yard before suing at the one of the farthest tips of our country, it is ridiculous.

Sad state of affairs..

This say's it all: "JoyAnn Kenny, Boardwalk's attorney, blasted the lawsuit, saying, "I would think that a better use of taxpayer funds would be to focus expenditures on the condition and safety of our highways rather than to fund a lawsuit against a Florida pizza restaurant."

Truth

Im headed there now to get a pizza!!

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)