Cupcake makers at war over dot-in-circle trademark

LOS ANGELES Fri Aug 15, 2008 4:28pm EDT

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Sprinkles Cupcakes, a California purveyor of mini-cakes beloved by Hollywood stars, has accused rival Famous Cupcakes of stealing its trademarked "Modern Dot" cupcake design to lure away clientele.

Sprinkles high-end pastries have made the rounds of U.S. media, from "The Oprah Winfrey Show" to "Nightline", drawing locals and out-of-towners who regularly wait in long lines outside the company's Beverly Hills store.

The company, which also runs stores in Texas and Arizona, accused Famous Cupcakes in a federal lawsuit filed on Thursday in Los Angeles of incorporating the "nested circle design" featured on Sprinkles cupcakes on Famous Cupcakes packaging, store decor, and "each and every page" of its website.

Unlike other cupcake imitators around the world who ceased using "Modern Dot" after being caught by Sprinkles, Famous Cupcakes has not responded to repeated requests to "promptly stop using its trademarked design," the lawsuit said.

The owner of Famous Cupcakes, who said on its website she began selling cupcakes door-to-door at age 7 and believes "one cupcake is never enough", could not be reached for comment.

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