Things are getting a bit saucy between two pizza shops in NYC. Frank Morano, who runs Prince Street Pizza, is suing his ex-employee Frank Badali for stealing his trademark pizza recipe and sharing it with his new employer.
The legal battle began when Badali started working at Made in New York and introduced a very similar looking pie. Once word got back to Morano on the copy-cat pizza he knew the only answer was litigation.
A Moreno spokesperson told the New York Post that Badali broke a confidentiality agreement by making an identical pizza for a competing Pizzeria.
Badali says he did not steal anything. “It’s not the same recipe, he explains, "It’s upgraded.”
Eytan Sugarman, the owner of Made in New York Pizza said of his new employee and the pizza recipe, "I don't think he stole it, he created it." Sugarman added, "We've made extensive changes to the recipe, not that we needed to."
Pizza aficionados agree that the two pies look eerily alike, right down to the upward curling pepperoni.
The rivalry led to consumers to go on taste tests to see if the pizza tastes different at each establishment.
“I think it’s different,” said Darren Rogers comparing the slices.
“I think I gotta give it to Made in New York,” said another taster.
“I think this is better, Prince Street,” said Griffin Rocco of Warren, N.J.
According to Barry Heyman, an intellectual property attorney, recipes cannot be parented, copy written or trademarked. a non-disclosure or confidentiality agreement would have had to be included in the contract for the employee.
Badali says he never signed any kind of confidentiality agreement when he was at Prince Street Pizza.