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Scottish Pizza Chain Under Fire From U.S. Chain

It’s the “ampersand” pizza chain v the “at” pizza chain.

The U.S.-based &pizza  chain is suing the Edinburgh, Scotland, chain @pizza for having copied its design and product identity. The suit charges @pizza for apparent similarities in menu, design and language, claiming unfair competition, trademark and copyright infringement, and trespass.

&pizza opened in Washington D.C., in 2012, where it now has 12 units; another 14 locations are in Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. Last year, &pizza received $25 million of investment for expansion and says it planned to use the money to expand to the U.K. However, in the suit, &pizza states that representatives of the Scottish restaurant repeatedly travelled to the U.S. capital to research its brand and operations before creating their business. “As a result, @pizza is now the unremorseful and unauthorized copycat of &pizza, launching a knock-off chain of restaurants in the U.K.”

In addition, @pizza in Edinburgh is accused of having a too similar logo, shape of pizza and marketing strategies. The suit says that @pizza displays “oval skinny pizza design in elongated rectangular skinny boxes branded with the slogans “LOVE@pizza” and “YOU@pizza.” The pizza at &pizza is similarly shaped with its rectangular boxes saying “LOVE&pizza” and “YOU&pizza.”

The chain is seeking $2 million in compensatory damages, as well as punitive damages and attorneys’ fees.

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