Protecting Its Franchise, NYPD Sues FL Pizza Joint


The NYPD is in the middle of a trademark infringement lawsuit that accuses NYPD Pizza, an Orlando-based pizza chain, of “intentionally and purposefully” designing its logo to look like the department’s fabled shield and of decorating its pizzerias to resemble police precincts, complete with bills that look like summonses. The pizza chain, however, says the use of the NYPD name — and the restaurant’s decor — is a tribute to a department held in high esteem by its owner, Robert Russo, a transplanted New Yorker from Bayside.

“We think the consumers are sophisticated enough to know the Police Department is not involved in running pizzerias,” said Robert Golden, a lawyer for the chain. But in recent years, New York has stepped up efforts to market the NYPD through official channels. The Police Foundation raises money for the department from the sale of a host of items, from infant clothing to mouse pads to moccasins, all decorated with the official department shield. The city receives 10 percent of the approximately $11 million annually in NYPD paraphernalia sold by official licensees, city officials said.


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