Miami pizzeria accuses Carnival Corp. of trademark infringement; doesn’t want association with ‘cruise line food’

Pizza restaurant Miami Slice is accusing Carnival Corp. of trademark infringement for using its name and signature concept of offering five slice varieties at a pizza kiosk aboard the cruise line’s newest ship, which began sailing from PortMiami last November. (Tribune News Service)

Though founded just three years ago, an artisanal pizzeria called Miami Slice has cultivated a popularity that’s “no flash in the pan,” its attorneys say.

But its hard-won reputation is threatened, a new lawsuit claims, by a pizza kiosk with that exact same name located aboard Carnival Corp.’s newest ship, Carnival Celebration.

In a federal trademark infringement lawsuit, Miami Slice Pizza, LLC says Carnival copied not just the Miami Slice name, but also its signature concept of offering just five varieties of pizza slices on the ship’s Miami-themed fast-casual dining area dubbed “Biscayne 820.”

The suit, filed by The Brickell IP Group, PLLC, says parent company Sotavento Ventures, LLC, registered the Miami Slice name with the U.S. Trademark Office in 2019 and has been marketing its product through the website since March of that year.

Originally, the company sold its pizzas as a carryout product made in the back of a sister restaurant called La Latina Miami on Northeast 2nd Avenue in Miami. Customers would pick up their orders in an alleyway just north of the restaurant, the suit states.

Then in 2022, riding a wave of positive media reviews, the company opened a “slice bar” restaurant on Northeast Miami Court in summer 2022 that has attracted a growing following and visits by sports stars including Miami Heat’s Duncan Robinson, soccer start David Beckham and Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady, the company said.

“The restaurant’s concept was simple – an open kitchen, bar-style restaurant serving five select styles of pizza for customers to take out or eat in,” the suit says.

The lawsuit claims that the product even drew raves from “picky” pizza reviewer Dave Portnoy of Barstool Sports, who had “nothing negative” to say in a review that hailed Miami Slice as “an instant contender for best pizza in Miami, no doubt.”

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