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Local restaurant owners settle case of pizzeria plagiarism

December 10, 2013

Two Indianapolis-area pizza restaurants have settled a legal dispute that arose when one accused the other of ripping off its style.

The owners of Napolese pizzeria and Crust Pizzeria Napoletana were scheduled to appear Tuesday morning at a court hearing. But the two quietly reached an agreement outside of court two weeks ago, said Martha Hoover, founder and president of Patachou Inc., Napolese’s parent company.

She declined to discuss terms of the settlement, citing a confidentiality agreement.

Patachou filed a lawsuit in October, claiming Crust infringed on Napolese’s trademarks and other legally protected intellectual property.

Hoover’s company claimed Osman tried to “confuse” customers by making Crust closely resemble Napolese. The lawsuit charged that the look of Crust's menu and logo, the industrial-style seating, and general design and set-up of its bar and wine rack are among the similarities that are likely to imply to customers that there’s an association between Crust and Napolese.

Crust owner Mohey Osman denied the allegations in a phone conversation with IBJ in October.

He declined Tuesday morning to comment directly on the terms of the settlement, but acknowledged that he was planning to change some things involving the appearance of his restaurant, including "stools and paint."

Hoover launched Napolese in 2010 at 49th and Pennsylvania streets, in the same retail center that houses the original Cafe Patachou that opened in 1989. Two more Napolese locations have followed, at 30 S. Meridian St. downtown and in the Fashion Mall at Keystone.

Crust opened in September at 12505 Old Meridian St. in Carmel.

 

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