Monday, April 06, 2015

View from Florida on "Jersey Boardwalk Pizza" trademark issue raised by NJ Turnpike Authority

Jersey Boardwalk Pizza uses a mark (in Florida) which is an almost exact replica of the green and yellow Garden State Parkway emblem, except the words "Garden State Parkway" are replaced with "Jersey Boardwalk Pizza."

A suit in federal court in New Jersey was dismissed for lack of jurisdiction.

Some comments in keys net in a Florida are of interest:


But New Jersey has its problems, too -- a multibillion-dollar pension deficit, the loss of casinos that generated countless tax dollars, the lack of an official state moth or mineral. Actually, that last one is being fixed as legislation makes its way through the Garden State's Legislature that would make the io moth New Jersey's designated moth and something called franklinite the official state mineral.
So we just don't understand why the New Jersey Turnpike Authority had decided last year to sue a small South Florida pizza chain -- one location in Tavernier, the other in Florida City -- for trademark infringement. Doesn't New Jersey have anything better to do with its time and resources?
Last Thursday, a federal judge in that state dismissed the lawsuit, basically saying Jersey Boardwalk Pizza doesn't do business in New Jersey and does no harm to New Jersey so no harm, no foul. At issue is the Garden State Parkway logo and Jersey Boardwalk Pizza's logo. Both are green and yellow and have an image of the Garden State in the middle. Both contain words but not the same words and not in the same places.
The judge found not only does Jersey Boardwalk Pizza not financially harm New Jersey – nearly 1,000 miles away -- because of its logo, but also that a 2014 determination by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office found there are no "conflicting marks" between the two logos.



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