Trademark Dispute Between Two California Pizza Companies

Plaintiff G&G Food, Inc. (doing business as the Curry Pizza House) filed suit against defendant the Curry Pizza Company, LLC on Friday in the Eastern District of California for trademark infringement and unfair competition.

Since 2013, Plaintiff Curry Pizza House has been in the restaurant business operating under the U.S. registered trademarks CURRY PIZZA HOUSE, HOME OF THE CURRY PIZZA, and CURRY PIZZA HOUSE FRESH AND SPICY, the complaint said. Their restaurants feature pizza, home delivery, catering services, and more. The complaint asserts that the plaintiff’s “long and continuous advertising, promotion, and use of its “CURRY PIZZA HOUSE” marks in commerce has resulted in the marks acquiring distinctiveness in the minds of the purchasing public.”

The plaintiff uses its trademarks to market and promote its business in magazines, the internet, social media sites, and more. Through the substantial use of the CURRY PIZZA HOUSE trademarks, the plaintiff argues that the have developed strong common law rights to the CURRY PIZZA HOUSE marks in addition to their trademark rights.

In early 2017, the defendant’s organizer, Varinder Malhi, contacted the plaintiff’s CEO to obtain advice regarding opening and operating a pizza restaurant. Upon meeting with the CEO, Malhi allegedly attempted to copy the plaintiff’s menu. Following the meeting, the defendant opened a pizza restaurant under the name The Curry Pizza Company.

The defendant filed for a trademark application in September of 2020 for the mark THE CURRY PIZZA COMPANY PIZZA – WINGS – TAPS. They were subsequently sent a letter of notice of trademark infringement, as they were operating under their name without prior common law or statutory rights and without the consent or authorization of the plaintiff.

The plaintiff contends that their trademarks “have priority over Defendant’s unauthorized use of the same or confusingly similar name for the same related goods and services,” since the plaintiff’s trademarks predate any existence of the Curry Pizza Company. The complaint explains that as a result of the infringement, the plaintiff has suffered monetary losses and irreparable injury to its business, reputation, and goodwill.

The complaint cites trademark infringement and federal unfair competition in violation of the Lanham Act, as well as common law trademark infringement and common law unfair competition. The plaintiff is seeking favorable judgment on all counts, and injunction preventing the defendant from further misconduct, actual, consequential, and statutory damages, litigation fees, and any other relief deemed necessary by the Court.The plaintiff is represented by Howard & Howard.