By Donna Goodison
The creator of the popular Johnny Cupcakes brand is suing two California residents for allegedly selling inferior knockoff necklaces using his trademarked cupcake and crossbones logo.
The trademark-infringement suit claims that Clark and Jo-Ann Perez sold the white acrylic necklaces on eBay and mailed them from a U-Store-It Trust location in Ontario, Calif.
The necklaces were advertised on eBay as Johnny Cupcakes products using the Massachusetts company’s name, logo, product description and photos of its models without consent, according to Earl.
“It was pretty much tarnishing my brand, because they looked a little bad,” he said. “We usually sell them for around $100, and they were selling them for between $20 and $40.”
Earl started selling cupcake-themed T-shirts out of the trunk of his car in 2001 and built the business into three stores and $3.8 million in annual sales. He prides himself on the exclusivity of his products. “That is why I have hundreds and hundreds of customers that camp out for days for these limited-edition T-shirts,” he said.
A Jo-Ann Perez reached at the U-Store-It location denied involvement. “I tried to tell him a million times that that’s not me, and that’s not my husband,” she said.
Last year, Earl sued three companies in U.S. District Court in Manhattan for allegedly selling T-shirts bearing his “Make Cupcakes Not War” design.
*Camp Sock Monkey*: Johnny Cupcakes L.A. Grand Opening