Who’s the (Cake) Boss?

by T+B Blog Team on August 30, 2010

Buddy Valastro of Carlo’s Bakery in Hoboken, NJ, is famous for making cakes in challenging and unusual shapes, including fire trucks and treasure chests. Now, the star of TLC’s “Cake Boss” may have to change his nickname. That’s because Masters Software, Inc., has been selling business management software for bakers called “CakeBoss” since 2007 — two years before “Cake Boss” made its television debut.

The software company’s website, www.cakeboss.com, gets swamped by the TV show’s viewers, which boosts its site stats but overwhelms the company with misdirected fan mail and custom cake requests. And now Valastro and TLC’s parent company, Discovery Communications, Inc., are both being challenged by Masters Software, Inc.

In court papers filed last month, the software company stated, “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.” Masters Software also notes that while the company sells only software, it also distributes
 other “products” including free cake-baking tutorials and recipes which consumers might associate with the TV Cake Boss. On August 2, the software company applied to the USPTO for trademarks in classes 16 (printed recipes and instruction sheets), 21 (Cake decorating tools including decorating tubes, couplers, tips, piping bags, molds, and modeling tools) and 30 (Cake mix, fondants, gel color, and edible cake decorations). Here’s a copy of the record from Corsearch® Advantage™:

While in litigation, Valastro and Discovery have been forbidden from using the name. Who do you think will take the cake?

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