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Local restaurant owners settle case of pizzeria plagiarism

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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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  • Really?
    All the folks slamming Hoover for this move...really? Did you see all the stuff the Crust folks pretty much just lifted from Napolese for their restaurant, from color scheme to furniture to tablesettings, all the way to using a similar font and logo? I'm no Hoover fan but Crust really set itself up for a trademark suit from someone who has spent a lot of time (and money) very carefully developing a brand for herself. She had every right to protect that brand.
  • Where You Are Wrong
    That's where you are wrong CrustyGriswold, and show ignorance about how these things work. It costs thousands of more dollars to go to court, and I doubt this small business owner had the money for it. It's not an admission of guilt, but rather an admission that you have less money than the other person. This is a fact of which I'm sure Mrs. Hoover was well aware of before even filing suit. Such a waste...
  • Napolese
    I'm sick of people who are sick of litigation. She had a right to sue, she did so, and, apparently there must have been some validity to her claim as there has been a settlement with Crust agreeing to make some changes. Get over yourselves, haters! Martha makes good food - if you don't like it, too bad for you!
    • Good for me
      I'm glad that you all are boycotting her restaurants... less wait time for a table.
    • Bad Taste In Mouth
      I absolutely adore the broken yolk sandwich with avocado on sourdough. I, however, don't think I will ever step foot back into Petite Chou after reading this awhile back. I have dined at many places that have the same look and feel as Martha's restaurant. I could never sit and enjoy one of my favorite breakfast sandwiches again bc I have such a bad taste in my mouth from the owners actions.
    • All....
      When Patachou recently asked Meridian Kessler Neighborhood to accept a proposal to make yet another expansion to her business at 49th and Penn., they hosted a catered meeting at their offices at 49th and College. They got their approval.
    • Lawsuits R E.Z.
      It seems if one has an attorney in the family a lawsuit is a simple way to at no real cost create real economic hardship for your competition. I hope they can get by on one income. I'll never give Napolese any more business.
    • Nice Comments
      It's nice to see the comments of people boycotting Martha's restaurants. I hope this hurts her in the only place she knows - her pocket book. I avoid her restaurants. That employee comment on here is most likely her.
    • Judging
      You have no idea what kind of person Martha Hoover is. Stop judging.
    • Shame on you Martha!!
      Shame on you Martha, for bullying this poor guy. My family and I will no longer spend our money at any of your restaurants.
    • Bullying
      I'll be switbhing my business to Crust as I'd rather not help a bully profit.
    • Won't Go Back
      Martha Hoover's behavior by filing this lawsuit has caused her to lose our family's business. I'm sure it won't bother her one bit that we choose to go elsewhere, but I think her pettiness pretty much sums up what kind of a person she is.
      • sorry about you, Martha
        telling (and IMO petty) that Crust has to change their stools and paint... Napolese didn't invent the look and were derivative in their own right. Glad this is settled and hope it wasn't too onerous for Crust's owner.
      • Glad its over
        Sorry the dispute reached this point, but glad its over. We picked up carryout from Crust last night and were extremely pleased with the food and service. We will be back for sure.

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