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Copyright infringement on candy bar themed cakes?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

Hello everyone,

 

I had a question regarding using candy brands such as Snickers, Reeses, Almond Joy, Oreo, etc. as cake flavors, cake themes, or even making cakes that whimsically resemble these popular treats … for example, would there be a copyright infringement issue if you call your cake a “Reeses Cake?” I am very curious about this as I see a lot of bakeries and ice cream shops doing this.

Does it make it okay to use the brand name in your product when you are using their candy (so you have already “paid” them) as a topping or a flavor? Would it then be an issue if you are NOT buying their candy to recreate their flavor combination, but calling it by the candy name (example, chocolate cake with pb buttercream and chocolate ganache that you then call “Reeses”)?

I know that there is an obvious way around this- to simply use generic names such as “peanut butter cup”, “cookies and cream”, or even just “candy bar” but there is always a certain added advantage when someone looks at your product and says “Oh look, it’s Reeses!”.

Thank you very much, looking forward to your advice!

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post #2 of 21

back yonder as the computer age started to ripen and we figured out we could print new wrappers for hershey candy bars, andes candies, etc.to market for personalized favors at weddings & parties--the candy companies responded with infringment c & d's--

 

so i could see the same thing here--you even acknowledge the advantage to using their names so without permission it's not the right way to go--

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post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 

Thank you very much K8memphis ... that was my hunch as well. 

 

I just wonder how on earth nearly every bakery and ice cream shop I see uses these names so freely. It makes me wonder if the rules are more lax than I would expect, or just a matter of no enforcement ...

 

Anyone else have anything to share?

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post #4 of 21

some of them buy product that comes from the candy maker or from sources that have permission

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post #5 of 21
I agree that you should get permission before you use someone else's trademarks in the name of one of your products. However if you are describing the ingredients it's fair game to use a trademark. For example, you couldn't sell an "Oreo Cake" without permission but in the description of a "Chocolate Cream Cookie Cake" on your web site you could say "made with real Oreo cookies".

I would guess that most small businesses who use trademarks in product names do so without permission and don't realize this is an issue.
post #6 of 21

true --

 

this is kinda different because it involves product endorsement but on food tv shows they are very careful to avoid showing any kind of brand names right -- and the pioneer woman often uses candy bars and you can tell which ones they are but you don't see any names--i think she says "butterfingers" though in one episode--

 

it's a big deal though--

 

anyhow--

I was addicted to the Hokey Pokey, but I turned myself around.

 

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post #7 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by -K8memphis View Post

this is kinda different because it involves product endorsement but on food tv shows they are very careful to avoid showing any kind of brand names right -- and the pioneer woman often uses candy bars and you can tell which ones they are but you don't see any names--i think she says "butterfingers" though in one episode--

This is done to avoid giving manufacturers free advertising...if brand names weren't covered up, there would be no incentive for them to pay for product placement.
post #8 of 21

I have an Etsy shop, and there are people on there who had to remove the word "onesie" from their baby clothes listings because it's apparently trademarked. They're always discussing how they can't use "onesies" in the forums there, which I find amusing, but I guess the people who own the trademark threatened Etsy so they're hardcore about it.

post #9 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar View Post

I have an Etsy shop, and there are people on there who had to remove the word "onesie" from their baby clothes listings because it's apparently trademarked. They're always discussing how they can't use "onesies" in the forums there, which I find amusing, but I guess the people who own the trademark threatened Etsy so they're hardcore about it.

It's not surprising that Gerber is defending their trademark, since "onesies" is in danger of being genericized. I didn't realize it was trademarked either.
post #10 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft View Post

It's not surprising that Gerber is defending their trademark, since "onesies" is in danger of being genericized. I didn't realize it was trademarked either.

I think it's already generic, and I guess everyone else did too. It's like bandaid and scotch tape now, but gerber apparently doesn't like it.
post #11 of 21

I can tell you for fact companies don't like you to use their name in your product. I know Ferrero make a phone call to a bakery I worked at and the name of one of our cakes was changed to hazelnut, even thought it was full of Ferrero products.

post #12 of 21

What about Rice Krispy Treats? For example if a high end bakery had gourmet chocolate dipped ones, would that be an infringement if they used the name?

post #13 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar View Post
 

I have an Etsy shop, and there are people on there who had to remove the word "onesie" from their baby clothes listings because it's apparently trademarked. They're always discussing how they can't use "onesies" in the forums there, which I find amusing, but I guess the people who own the trademark threatened Etsy so they're hardcore about it.


Then Disney must go NUTS with the people who sell Cricut birthday party paper products (cupcake toppers, treat bag tags, etc...).   I have heard that it's technically illegal to sell anything using the Cricut because all of the content on their cartridges is copyrighted?  Does this sound right Jason?

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post #14 of 21

PS Sorry to hijack...

Aah, cake. . .the 5th food group!!
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Aah, cake. . .the 5th food group!!
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post #15 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by BeesKnees578 View Post
 


Then Disney must go NUTS with the people who sell Cricut birthday party paper products (cupcake toppers, treat bag tags, etc...).   I have heard that it's technically illegal to sell anything using the Cricut because all of the content on their cartridges is copyrighted?  Does this sound right Jason?

I think that Circut lets you sell things using the cake cartridges because when they first came out with them they said you couldn't, but decorators all pitched a fit. So the cake cartridges can be used for cakes that you're selling. It doesn't matter whether they tell you that you can sell trademarked items or not, though, unless they have an agreement with the trademark holder to allow people to sell the characters they make after buying the cartridges. And there is NO WAY that Disney would allow that to happen. The designs on the Circut are all copyrighted by the designer of that cartridge, so unless there's some kind of a release on the cartridge that says you can use it for commercial purpose you're probably not allowed to sell things that you make with the design. But definitely not the Disney ones! I bet if you look at the case the cartridge is in on the character ones, it will say somwhere that it's for personal use only on there somewhere.

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