Bolton-based Farzana Dipoti has been forced to change her bakery’s name by the multi-billion dollar US business The Cheesecake Factory.
Little Cheesecake Factory, which was founded eight years ago, makes 50-70 crafted cakes a week for local shops and restaurants in the Bolton area – Dipoti is the one member of staff, working on a part-time basis with occasional help from her family. She delivers the freshly-made cheesecakes herself, except when people choose to come and collect them.
The Cheesecake Factory has over 200 restaurants across the world and employs thousands of staff.
Dipoti recently received a ‘cease and desist’ legal letter on the grounds of trademark infringement. The letter accuses Dipoti of giving her customers the impression that her cakes are associated with the US company.
The company is now called Cheesecake Co and is in the process of rebuilding its web domain and social media channels.
Dipoti said the US chain was “picking on the little man”, and that she was “astonished” to receive the letter. She added that the rebrand had taken a large chunk out of the business’ annual profits and the costs were ongoing.
“Quite apart from having to rebrand and change the domain name, I feel like I have been bullied and haven’t been given any choice,” she said.
The Cheesecake Factory was registered as a trademark under EU law in 1998 and UK law in 1993.