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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 12, 2012/ 21 Nissan, 5772

The Godfather's Italian Table

By Debra J. Saunders

Debra J. Saunders



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | "Godfather" director Francis Ford Coppola is a big shot -- and not just in the film world. As a vintner and restaurateur, Coppola apparently sees himself as the capo di tutti capi -- the boss of all bosses -- who owns the Italian dictionary. Last year, Coppola won a U.S. trademark for the phrase "a tavola" -- Italian for "to the table" (or, in American English, "come and get it"). It seems the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office also thinks Coppola owns a piece of the Italian language.

Last week, Coppola filed a lawsuit against the Tavola Italian Kitchen in Novato, Calif., on the grounds that the restaurant's use of the Italian word for table constitutes "trademark infringement, unfair competition" and false advertising, among other misdeeds.

"This has all come as a big shock to us," Tavola Italian Kitchen co-owner Jon Paul Pirraglia told me. "Tavola" is "a generic word" in Italian dining. Trademarking "tavola" is "like trying to trademark 'alfresco.'"

The lawsuit might make sense if one of Coppola's restaurants were named Tavola. None is. His Geyserville, Calif., restaurant is named Rustic; his San Francisco eatery is Cafe Zoetrope. "A tavola," Rustic's website explains, is the eating style used there on Tuesday nights. "Instead of ordering from menus, the chef prepares a variety of dishes and sends them to your table," its website explains. "It's a great way to enjoy a meal and a lot of fun for the whole family."

Lucky for Coppola, no one (else) has a trademark on "fun for the whole family."

The Coppola Family Trust's attorney refused to comment on the case. Likewise, Coppola's press person would not talk on the record.

From reading lawsuit documents, however, I see the nub of Coppola's case: Might makes right.

In 2008, Coppola applied for a U.S. trademark on "a tavola." It was granted in 2011. When the Pirraglia family's Connecticut-based business -- which operates three other restaurants -- applied for a trademark for "Tavola Italian Kitchen," the Patent and Trademark Office initially turned down Tavola, citing a "likelihood of confusion" in light of the Coppola family's claim to the word "tavola." The Coppola complaint then charged that the Pirraglias willfully set out to confuse consumers by luring unsuspecting bon vivants tooling up the 101 freeway toward the wine country.

There's no way, the Pirraglias told me over the phone, that customers would think they are a Coppola production. The Pirraglias are proud of their Italian-only wine list and their handcrafted meals. Still, padrone Anthony Pirraglia explained, "we're a small restaurant in a Safeway shopping center."

If the Pirraglia family business had checked into a trademark, Fenwick and West trademark attorney Sally Abel told me, it would have found "three different companies with 'tavola'-based marks with similar services." Abel also told me that in order for a term to be protectable, "it has to be distinctive."

It turns out that despite all the hype about providing an authentic Italian family dining experience, Rustic's legal claim on "tavola" as a trademark is based on a Portuguese translation of the word.

Some might argue that this is a typical food fight in the cutthroat restaurant world. Or, to quote from "The Godfather'': "It's nothing personal, Sonny. It's strictly business."

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© 2012, Creators Syndicate

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