Friday, December 18, 2015

RPI taking pizzeria owner to court over name 'confusion'

RPI -- Resort Parks International a nationwide system of RV parks.

RPI -- Research & Policy Institute of the NASPA Foundation in Washington, DC.

RPI -- Ratings Percentage Index, a statistical system used by the NCAA Selection Committee for ranking college sports teams.

RPI -- Research Projects International, an Illinois medical supplies company.

RPI -- Roofing Products International, an Indiana company.

RPI -- RPI Group, a Virginia cyber security firm.

RPI -- Rotary Precision Instruments UK Ltd., an English manufacturer.

RPI -- RPI Consultants, a Baltimore firm specializing in business development.

RPI -- Short for Raspberry Pi, a credit card-sized ultra-inexpensive Linux computer.

RPI -- Retail Price Index, used in much of Europe.

RPI -- Remediation Products Inc., an environmental cleanup company in Colorado.

RPI -- Regional Peace Institute, a multinational organization working primarily in Southeast Asia.

RPI -- The teaching arm of Pizza DaVinci in Troy, NY.

RPI -- A bitchy college up the street from Pizza DaVinci in Troy, NY.

OK, now that we've established that the letters "RPI" are not exclusive to the aforementioned college, what's up with the school's lawsuit against Pizza DaVinci?

The pizzeria is located on the northeast corner of Hoosick and 15th streets, near the RPI campus. Owner Gokhan Baykal, a native of Turkey, came up with the name "Rensselaer Pizza Institute" a few years ago for his cooking class series. He even went to the trouble of registering that name with the federal trademark office.

In a hissy fit, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has filed a lawsuit making an astounding claim, namely that "Defendant has incorporated certain of the RPI registered marks into its own mark in a manner that is likely to confuse students enrolled at RPI and others who may mistakenly conclude that defendant … is associated with RPI."

Given the high IQs and academic accomplishments required for admission to the school, fears that its students will confuse "pizza" with "polytechnic" seem a bit on the hysterical side.

This seems to be more a case of school officials and lawyers being unable to find something productive to do, or its public relations department falling down on the job when it should have mounted a campaign to be sure the public doesn't confuse RPI's School of Architecture with Pizza DaVinci "Where each pizza is a work of art."

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