Lawsuit dismissed after sales of Italian-language Terrible Towel stop

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A federal lawsuit against a company selling an Italian-language version of the Terrible Towel was dismissed Friday after both parties agreed the product was no longer being sold.

The AVS Foundation, which holds the trademark, filed the complaint along with the Pittsburgh Steelers against Nicholas Rossi and Husky Homes Inc., doing business as Tanto Abruzzo, and Squirrel Hill News Stand.

According to the complaint, the foundation had previously demanded Mr. Rossi cease and desist sales of a "knock off of 'the Terrible Towel' in the Italian language. It read 'Ufficial di Italia asciugamano terribile. Un Originale Di Pittsburgh.'

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"The Italian language knockoff was in the distinctive font and format of 'Myron Cope's Official The Terrible Towel."

Although online sales were stopped after a request was made, the foundation learned the product was still being sold at the Squirrel Hill News Stand.

At a hearing before U.S. District Judge Arthur J. Schwab on Friday, Mr. Rossi assured the court he no longer produces the towels. A representative of the News Stand also confirmed that a separate agreement with the foundation had been reached to halt sales.

AVS Foundation, which raises money for the Allegheny Valley School, is a nonprofit charity that receives the revenue from sales of the Terrible Towel.

Tanto Abruzzo is a division of Husky Homes Inc. and was formed to promote tourism in the Abruzzo region of Italy and raise money for those impacted by a 2009 earthquake in the area.

Steelers - neigh_city - breaking - legalnews

Paula Reed Ward: pward@post-gazette.com or 412-263-2620. First Published August 20, 2012 6:00 PM


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