Magnolia Bakery sues rival cupcake shop over claims that its "signature" frosting swirl has been copied

Magnolia Bakery sues rival cupcake shop over claims that its 'signature' frosting swirl has been copied

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UPDATED:

18:44 GMT, 21 September 2012

Magnolia Bakery has sued a former employee with a federal lawsuit, claiming his cupcakes are using its famed 'signature' swirl icing topping.

Buba Trawally, who worked as a baker for Magnolia from 2008 to 2011, opened Apple Cafe Bakery a year ago on West 8th St, just blocks from Magnolia’s Bleeker St flagship in Greenwich Village.

The lawsuit claims that Mr Trawally is attempting to 'capitalize upon Magnolia’s unique and distinctive' cupcakes, and are demanding that he stop selling the swirled lookalikes.

Swirl wars: Magnolia Bakery, whose cupcakes (left) were made famous by HBO's Sex and the City, is suing former employee Buba Trawally claiming his Apple Cafe cupcakes (right) are using its 'signature' swirl icing

Swirl wars: Magnolia Bakery, whose cupcakes (left) were made famous by HBO's Sex and the City, is suing former employee Buba Trawally claiming his Apple Cafe cupcakes (right) are using its 'signature' swirl icing

Swirl wars: Magnolia Bakery, whose cupcakes (left) were made famous by HBO's Sex and the City, is suing former employee Buba Trawally claiming his Apple Cafe cupcakes (right) are using its 'signature' swirl icing

Magnolia’s attorneys stated in the suit filed in Manhattan Federal Court on Thursday that:
'Despite his agreement to preserve all secret and confidential material
belonging to Magnolia, Apple … has baked, marketed and sold cupcakes
with a swirled icing topping.'

As well as cupcakes, Mr Trawally's Apple Cafe and
Bakery, a 'semi' Gambian bakery, also sells African treats like Gambian pumpkin pie,
croissants, bagels, cookies, Mexican-style flan, gelato and peanut butter pie.

Apple Cafe and Bakery, however, appears to have closed with the store's number disconnected and a 'For Rent' sign in the shop's window. Mr Trawally, also a co-founder of the Gambian Youth Organization in the Bronx, did not return calls for comment.

Magnolia Bakery: Made famous by its swirled cupcakes' appearances in Sex and the City and the film The Devil Wears Prada, was launched in 1996 by Allysa Torey and Jennifer Appel

Magnolia Bakery: Made famous by its swirled cupcakes' appearances in Sex and the City and the film The Devil Wears Prada, was launched in 1996 by Allysa Torey and Jennifer Appel

Magnolia
Bakery, made famous by its swirled cupcake's appearances in Sex and the
City and the film The Devil Wears Prada, was launched in 1996 by Allysa
Torey and Jennifer Appel.

It
has opened franchises throughout New York City, including its boutiques
in Rockefeller Center and Grand Central Terminal, with the lawsuit
claiming that Mr Trawally
signed a confidentiality agreement promising not to use any of
Magnolia’s trade secrets for his own benefit.

Apple Cafe and Bakery: A 'semi' Gambian bakery, was opened by former Magnolia baker Buba Trawally just blocks from Magnolia Bakery's flagship store in Greenwich Village

Apple Cafe and Bakery: A 'semi' Gambian bakery, was opened by former Magnolia baker Buba Trawally just blocks from Magnolia Bakery's flagship store in Greenwich Village

Last year, Magnolia’s current owners Steve and Tyra Abrams sued its co-founder, Jennifer Appel, claiming she shared Magnolia’s recipes and business secrets with Nicole Kotovos, who allegedly opened an unauthorized Magnolia Bakery in Greece.

Although a representative for Magnolia Bakery told MailOnline: 'Magnolia Bakery has filed the claim as a means of protecting our trademark,' it is uncertain whether a cucake icing swirl is actually patented or trademarked to Magnolia.