Real-Life Copycat Lesson #4: Famous pizza trademark dispute

07 May, 2019

You may have heard of the 1988 coming-of-age drama “Mystic Pizza” — the film which gave actress Julia Roberts her breakout role. It also made the Zelepos’ family pizza shop from which the movie borrowed its name a go-to spot in the Connecticut seaport town of Mystic. The 1973 pizza shop gained popularity following the film, so much so that tourists posing for pictures in front of the shop have caused traffic jams and the family even opened a second location to keep up with demand. The owners of Mystic Pizza have sued Pennsylvania’s Mystic Pizzeria for trademark infringement, alleging Mystic Pizzeria is using its name in an attempt to confuse customers into thinking the Pennsylvania pizza shop is affiliated with the 1973 Mystic Pizza in Connecticut. Mystic Pizza owners did reach out to Mystic Pizzeria to ask them to cease their “infringing conduct,” but the Mystic Pizzeria owners have not complied.

The lawsuit filed February 28th in Philadelphia seeks a court order against the Pennsylvania’s pizzeria’s use of the Mystic Pizza name, along with an unspecified amount of damages.