Johnny Cupcakes, pictured above wearing his "Make Cupcakes Not War" t-shirt, is suing a competitor for a t-shirt that says "Make Pastry Not War." According to The Patriot Ledger:
So this is the flip side of success: Entrepreneur Johnny Earle claims competitors are selling thinly disguised knockoffs of his Johnny Cupcakes T-shirts.
Earle, 26, of Hull, filed suit in U.S. District Court in Manhattan last month against three companies that allegedly have been selling imitations of his “Make Cupcakes Not War” design.
The rival T-shirt says “Make Pastry Not War” and also bears a cupcake icon. Earle claims its theme of pacifism and pastry violates a copyright he holds on the design.
The lawsuit names Adjmi Apparel, Run Athletics and Pastry, all of New York City, as defendants. The suit cites an advertisement in the Finish Line catalog for a “Make Pastry Not War” T-shirt selling for $30. Most Johnny Cupcakes T-shirts cost $35.
The suit alleges trademark infringement, stating that Johnny Cupcakes registered a trademark for the design in August 2007. It asks the court to authorize the destruction of the copycat shirts and seeks unspecified damages.
A search of the Finish Line website doesn't show the t-shirt, and Amazon doesn't have it in stock either.
What do you think?
In other Johnny Cupcakes news, he was named one of 2008's Best Entrepreneurs 25 and under by BusinessWeek. That's pretty huge - congratulations!
And he is now selling things like stickers: