Francis Ford Coppola is of course known as one of the best directors with all time classics such as The Godfather. He nowadays seems to run the Francis Ford Coppola Winery and restaurants in Napa Valley.
He might have learned from his movies not to start a fight against Italian families, this however did not refrain him from filing a lawsuit against the Tavola Italian Kitchen restaurant in Novato, California, claiming the name of this restaurant infringes the “a tavola” trademark of Coppola. The argument is clear: confusion with the consumer.
According to Tavola Italian Kitchen the name Tavola is generic and very widely used. A search of MarkMatters.com confirms the popularity of this name: 132 trademarks were filed in many countries (although 83 of these trademarks for Italy). It is up to Coppola to show that this name is not descriptive or diluted. And otherwise he should listen to one of the quotes in The Godfather “Leave the gun. Take the cannoli”.
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“Trademark protection gives freedom to do business.”