TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — The New Jersey Turnpike Authority wants a Florida pizza shop to pay a big toll for their logo.
The agency is suing Jersey Boardwalk Pizza in federal court for using a logo that they say looks like the Garden State Parkway‘s green and yellow signs. Both logos feature a green map of the state and text written in yellow on a green background.
The pizzeria uses the logos in their two shops and on merchandise sold online.
JoyAnn Kenny, a lawyer with the Red Bank-based firm of Marks & Klein LLP, which represents the company, defended its use of the logo in a letter to turnpike authority lawyers included in the suit. She wrote that there’s no way anyone would confuse a highway and a pizza place 1,300 miles away.
“Given the very distinct difference in the goods and services offered by our respective clients (yours being a governmental agency providing highway maintenance and travel related services exclusively in the state of New Jersey — ours being a franchisor of pizza restaurants providing the opportunity to provide delicious pizza and Italian food to patrons of its licensed restaurants), there is no plausible likelihood of confusion,” she wrote.
The turnpike authority sued over two logos, one used by the pizza business and one by a franchising business it owns. Kenny said that the logo for the restaurants was approved by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and has been used since April 2011.
The agency said in the suit that the company is trying to trade upon the fame of the Garden State Parkway logo to attract customers and potential franchisees. It calls the Garden State Parkway one of the most iconic and well known highways in the country.
The turnpike authority said “there is no question” that the logos “were directly copied and appropriated from Plaintiff’s famous Garden State Parkway Logo.” It asked a judge to require the company to stop using the logos and to destroy any merchandise that includes it.
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