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Name Calling

Playing the trademark game.

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This story appears in the May 1998 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Who is The Pizza Maker, anyway? Entrepreneur Mark O'Brien in White Lake, Michigan, says he is--and used a federal trademark to stake his claim. But Allied-Sysco Food Services Inc., a subsidiary of billion-dollar food distributor Sysco Corp. in Houston, wants rights to The Pizza Maker moniker and filed a petition to cancel O'Brien's trademark. So who's right?

No one yet, pending litigation. After the U.S. Trademark Trial and Appeal Board canceled O'Brien's Pizza Maker trademark last year, he countered by filing a federal lawsuit against Sysco and Allied-Sysco. Despite the lengthy legal battle, O'Brien insists he'll fight to the end. "If I don't win, I lose my company," he says.

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