| September 17, 2011 | 3:38pm
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Well, here's a food-oriented legal proceeding that's more Big Lebowski than Law & Order.
Coral Springs-based Pizza Time, Inc., claims that a Washington-based pizza chain -- that's also called "Pizza Time" -- has stolen its name, according to a lawsuit recently filed in the Broward County Civil Court.
The conflict is rooted in chronology, it seems.
Florida's Pizza Time, which has been around since 1980, says that its restaurants have long been "established, [and] very well respected, and recognized for the quality of their Italian foods, recipes, and pizza," according to the filing.
Florida's Pizza Time claims that it's got such a good reputation that its offerings "have been ordered via overnight mail or has been the destination of choice for long distance drives."
Enter Pizza Time of Washington (formally known as Pizza Time Holdings.) This company got started in 1989, and has used the name Pizza Time at about 25 restaurants in the Pacific Northwest.
In July 2011, Washington's Pizza Time sent a letter to Florida's Pizza Time telling the restaurant to stop using the name "Pizza Time" -- unless it pays up.
Washington's Pizza time, according to the lawsuit, has also claimed that Florida's Pizza time violated federal trademark law.
Now, Florida's Pizza Time (told you this was confusing!) is suing to be able to keep using its name.
Check back to Clean Plate Charlie for updates on the suit.
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