For bakery business maven Candace Nelson, Cupcake Wars isn't just another tedious Food Network show, it's a real life legal saga. The founder of Sprinkles Cupcakes, the popular cupcake shop she opened in Beverly Hills and now has locations in 10 cities, filed suit on Friday against a Pink Sprinkles, a newer bakery in Fairfield, Connecticut.
The crux of the lawsuit rests on Sprinkles' assertion that the similarity in the two businesses' names will cause confusion in the marketplace.
Sprinkles has repeatedly requested that Pink Sprinkles "promptly transition to a new name" but it has refused, the lawsuit says. The lawsuit, which seeks damages and to make Pink Sprinkles stop using the name, calls the dispute "an exceptional case, involving calculated and willful misconduct."
This isn't the first time Nelson and her company have filed suit against another bakery. Sprinkles has a history of aggressively going after any business they perceive as infringing on Sprinkles' trademark.
In August of 2008, Sprinkles sued Famous Cupcakes, claiming the Los Angeles bakery was stealing its "modern dot" trademark.
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Around that time, reports the Los Angels Times, Sprinkles also sent a cease and desist letter to Sprinkled Pink Cupcake Couture in Montecito, demanding that owner Wendy Jones change the name of her bakery, even though she had registered it when she got her business license in 2003.
The LA Times story goes on to say:
All told, lawyers for Sprinkles said, they have sent about a dozen similar letters to shops around the country and filed three lawsuits, including one last month against Famous Cupcakes in North Hollywood for using dots in its packaging and throughout the store.
Ahhhh, Sprinkles. Like an iron fist in a frosted red velvet glove.