A red hot row has erupted between rival pizza companies over who owns the rights to a Hot Stuff Pizza.
The spicy saga revolves around rival claims by Hot Stuff Foods and Homer Simpson-endorsed competitor Domino's.
Hot Stuff Foods claims that it registered the 'Hot Stuff Pizza' trade mark 11 years ago and that the item can be purchased from its 14 franchised outlets across the UK, nine of which are in the West Midlands.
However, for the past two months Domino's has been marketing - much to the annoyance of its rival - its own Hot Stuff Pizza.
Hot Stuff Foods, which has asked the fast food giant to withdraw the promotion, citing intellectual property rights, has now appointed UK law firm Addleshaw Goddard to act for it in the dispute.
Head of intellectual property at Addleshaw Goddard, Richard Kempner said: "We first acted for Hot Stuff Foods over ten years ago when we obtained a community-wide trademark registration for our clients, and are now defending that trademark for them against a major player in the fast food industry.
"This case is not solely about protecting the trade mark for Hot Stuff Pizza - it also impacts on both consumers and our clients' franchisees working hard to develop their businesses in outlets across the UK."
"Our clients are rightly very worried that their customers will be fooled into believing that their 'Hot Stuff Pizza' pizza is now available from Domino's, which it isn't and couldn't be. All they ask is that Domino's admit and put right their mistake - and are seen to do so," he added.
Domino's said yesterday that it had now ended the campaign and the Hot Stuff Pizza term was no longer being used. In a statement, the firm said: "Hot Stuff Foods is also seeking damages for infringement of trademark. Domino's Pizza does not accept that the use of this description has caused any damage to Hot Stuff Foods but is taking legal advice in order to resolve the matter."
Hot Stuff Foods was founded in 1983 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and is now one of the largest US fast-food brands within the convenience store industry, operating in more than 1,600 locations throughout the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia.
Its UK franchises are situated in Birmingham, which has three outlets, Telford, Warwick, West Bromwich, Oldbury, Walsall and Wolverhampton plus Bath, Luton, London, Plymouth and Swansea.
Addleshaw Goddard is one of the few UK law firms to specialise in all aspects of intellectual property work.