A woman who alleges a former shareholder of her company stole her idea for decorative cupcake sleeves can move forward with her complaint, a judge tentatively ruled today.
The suit was filed in March 2011 in Los Angeles Superior Court by Sheri Mersola and her company, Moon Cherie, against Theresa Deliberto, manager of La Canada Flintridge-based Cupcake LLC.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Ramona See said she is inclined to allow Mersola to take her case to trial on six of the eight causes of action, including fraud, misappropriation of trade secrets and breach of contract.
See said she will likely dismiss the allegations of deceit and unfair competition. However, the judge said she wanted to mull the issues further and took the case under submission.
Defense attorney Charles Rosenberg stated in his court papers that Mersola and her attorney, Benjamin Berger, had been given three chances to fix previous problems with the complaint and had still not done so. He urged dismissal of the case.
Deliberto was present in court today, but Mersola was not.
According to the complaint, Mersola and Moon Cherie began marketing their cupcake sleeves under the name Roundabouts in 2009 and the same year registered the name as a trademark. The wrappings are decorated with themes celebrating numerous occasions, including graduations, weddings, baby showers and holidays.
Deliberto was a former director of Moon Cherie who resigned and sold her stock in the company to Mersola in January 2010, the lawsuit states. Deliberto and Cupcake LLC are now competitors to Mersola and her company.
Deliberto has used customer lists, business methods and supplier information to advance her own company and sell cupcake sleeves under the name Cupcake Cuties in violation of her separation agreement with Mersola, the complaint alleges.
Mersola is asking for unspecified damages as well as an injunction preventing Deliberto from using the name Cupcake Cuties or any other name that could cause confusion with the plaintiff's product. She also wants a court order directing all wrappers and other items with the name Cupcake Cuties "be delivered up and destroyed."