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

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

Many small businesses have found themselves caught up in similarlegal tangles. Consider Dee's Cheesecake Factory inAlbuquerque, New Mexico: After years of success, this bakery'sfounder launched a legal battle after discovering a nationalcorporation using the same name, minus the "Dee's."As a result, both companies retain their respective rights to usethe "Cheesecake Factory" name.

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