TLC Network Sued for Trademark Infringement

It turns out, a Cake Boss isn't just an outspoken New Jersey cake creator; it's also a brand of business management software for professional cake bakers. And the CakeBoss software won't likely be mistaken for TLC star Bartolo "Buddy" Valastro much longer.

In a suit citing trademark infringement, Seattle District Court Judge Richard A. Jones granted a preliminary injunction on July 16 in favor of Masters Software, which produces the CakeBoss software.

Co-owners Kelley Masters and Jon Masters began selling the CakeBoss software in 2007. The TV show "Cake Boss," however, didn't enter the scene until two years later. The extra publicity hindered rather than helped the software company. As a result of the show's popularity, a huge number of fans inadvertently clicked on the software company's site, entitled, www.CakeBoss.com. The site was overwhelmed with hits and forced to shut down.

According to court papers, TLC and its parent company, Discovery, didn't research sufficiently before adopting the name for their show. "There is no evidence that Discovery tried to determine if Cake Boss was in use in business before it chose the name in February 2009," the court papers said.

"Prior to this order we felt helpless in defending our small business against the actions of a corporation as big as Discovery Communications," said the Masters in a statement on their website.

Read more about Masters Software, Inc. v. Discovery Communications.

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