Patsy’s Pizzeria (PP) opened its first outlet on East 118th Street in New York in 1933. There are now seven locations in Manhattan, one on Staten Island and one in Syosset, NY. In 1944, Patsy’s Italian Restaurant (PIR) – unconnected with PP – opened on West 56th. PP and PIR co-existed without litigation until 1998, when the great sauce dispute erupted: both wished to market a bottled sauce with the brand name Patsy’s. PP won round one. Round 2 began in 2006, when PIR accused PP of trademark infringement in connection with its Staten Island and Syosset locations, resulting in PP having to issue a disclaimer that there was no affiliation with PIR.

The fight over the Patsy’s name was also revived. The district court, clearly fed up, said that neither party could use the name on its own. PIR’s registration of the name was cancelled and PP’s request for reinstatement of its registration was refused. The Second Circuit affirmed this on appeal, also weary of ‘rehashes of years of arguments that need to come to an end’: Patsy’s Italian Restaurant Inc v Banas (2d Cir. 24 August 2011) [Link available here].