Pizza Hut is sued for patent infringement

December 1, 1995, as reported by the patent office:

Angelo Mongiello's Children, LLC filed a patent infringement lawsuit today against Pizza Hut Inc. in Brooklyn Federal Court. The suit involves a 1987 United States Mongiello patent covering a method of making pizza with a food-filled crust. In 1988 and again in 1991, the Mongiellos offered Pizza Hut, the world's largest maker of pizzas, a license under their "STUFFIN THE CRUST PIZZA" ideas and patent. In each of these instances, Pizza Hut displayed no apparent interest. Pizza Hut is a $5 billion subsidiary of Pepsico.

In 1995, Pizza Hut formally introduced its "STUFFED CRUST PIZZA" with a $45 million ad campaign starring famous entertainment stars. "STUFFED CRUST PIZZA" is made with five spaced pieces of elongated mozzarella sealed within pie crust pockets. The Mongiello family has hired New York patent litigator Paul J. Sutton of the Reid & Priest law firm to represent their company in the lawsuit (2120603-2578 to contact Paul).

"Unless Pizza Hut reaches some form of reasonable agreement with the Mongiellos, its potential exposure over the remaining life of the patent could exceed well over $1 billion, based upon the present rate of infringing sales from their 8,600 U.S. restaurants and delivery units," said Sutton. "I simply can't believe that the management of Pizza Hut believes that they could hope to get away with willful patent infringement, unless they have terribly misjudged our client's willingness to fight to protect their patent rights."

Sounds like bad news to us...

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