Penn. Pizzeria Sued for Using Copyrighted Image of Sandwich

A civil lawsuit filed on Thursday by Prepared Food Photos Inc., formerly known as Adlife Marketing & Communications Co. Inc. claims that the Pittsburgh eatery La Felice Pizza & Pasta has illegally used a protected image it created in order to sell chicken ranchero sandwiches.

The Western District of Pennsylvania filing explains that Prepared Food is “a retail food advertising company servicing retailers and wholesalers throughout the United States for almost 40 years.” In 1998, the plaintiff created the photograph entitled “SandwichSub001,” reprinted from the complaint below. It reportedly received copyright registration in 2016.

The filing claims that in 2019, Prepared Food became aware that La Felice was using the image on its website for commercial purposes. The complaint specifies that the pizzeria copied the image from the internet “in order to advertise, market and promote its business activities,” without the plaintiff’s permission. In February and March 2021, Prepared Food reportedly sent notices to La Felice informing the pizzeria of its alleged transgression, but said it received no return correspondence.

The complaint states one claim for relief under the Copyright Act and seeks an injunction barring further use of the copyrighted sandwich image. Prepared Food also requests damages to remediate the “irreparable” harm it allegedly suffered as a result of the restaurant’s purportedly wilful infringement. Specifically, the food advertising company asks for the equivalent of the restaurant’s profits attributable to the infringement, or at its election, statutory damages.

Prepared Food is represented by SRIPLAW P.A.