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Oregon bakery fights back against lawsuit threats

An Oregon bakery has filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court in hopes of stopping continuous legal threats from a similarly named out-of-state bakery. Crave Bake Shop has received national attention since its 2011 founding, reaching thousands of TV viewers through the Food Network program "Cupcake Wars." While the exposure has increased traffic to Crave, it has also made the Oregon business a target for potential civil litigation.

Crave Bake Shop's 34-year-old owner says she has received letters from another bakery from outside of Oregon whose name also incorporates the word "crave." Additionally, the out-of-state company claims to have been the first gluten-free bakery in its area; Crave Bake Shop's products are also entirely gluten-free. As such, the letters demand that Crave Bake Shop either discontinue its use of the name or pay an unspecified sum to use it. The company claimed its most recent letter would be its "final attempt to resolve this matter amicably."

Crave's owner said the threats have continued despite the fact she was awarded a trademark for the name, also noting that her company is in the process of transitioning to a new name. However, she stressed that the decision to change the name was not motivated by the out-of-state bakery's threats, explaining that she wants to find a new name that better reflects the evolving nature of the business -- she has recently begun offering an expanded range of products, such as a cookbook and dry cake mixes for home bakers.

The out-of-state bakery has acknowledged the trademark and Crave's plans to change its name, but says those developments fail to repay it for "past infringement or the damages it has caused" and has continued to threaten Crave with legal action. This prompted Crave to file its complaint, asking the court to formally recognize its right to use the name and prohibit the other bakery from accusing it of copyright infringement.

Source: Oregon Live, "Lake Oswego's Crave Bake Shop attempts to stop lawsuit threats from California bakery," Victoria Edwards, March 12, 2013

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