Francis Ford Coppola is suing the Tavola Italian Kitchen restaurant in Novato, California for trademark infringement over the use of the word 'Tavola'.
Trustees of the Coppola family, which owns restaurants Zoetrope in San Francisco and Rustic in Sonoma County, say that ‘a tavola’, meaning ‘to the table’, a casual dining experience with no menus, is a hallmark of the restaurants.
The Coppola Family Trust has registered a US trademark for the phrase ‘a tavola’ upon which the lawsuit is based.
Coppola attorney Giselle Galper wrote to Tavola owners, father and son team Anthony and Jon Paul Pirraglia, to say that customers will be misled into believing their restaurant is connected with Coppola or his Sonoma winery, Francis Ford Coppola Winery.
The lawsuit was filed on 2 April.
According to local website Novato Patch, Jon Paul Pirraglia has said that he believes the name ‘creates no actual conflict with the rights asserted by the Coppola family in their recently filed lawsuit’ and that they have ‘put considerable effort into explaining this to the Coppola family in order to achieve a resolution of the dispute without resort to litigation.”
The case is being presided over by US Magistrate Judge Donna Ryu in California’s Northern District Court.
Written by David Furer