Cakes. What instantly comes to our minds is the creamy, delicious taste on our palettes. But yet here I am, connecting it with the most unlikely subject, Intellectual Property Rights. I’m sure ‘cakes’ always make us think of ‘chocolate,’ ‘red velvet’ (I do know a bit about them) etc and hardly about ‘copyright,’ or ‘trademark’ which is what this article is all about.

Cake Trouble

Recently the cake at the President of United States of America, Donald Trump’s inaugural caught the media’s attention for being very similar to the cake created for the Former President Obama’s inaugural. Chef Goldman who had originally designed the cake for Former President’s inaugural tweeted with the pictures of both the cakes side by side. This news was naturally viewed from the copyright perspective as the design of the cake was an expression of Chef Goldman’s original idea and of course, artistic in nature. I’m sure this naturally brings to our mind the ‘copyright issue’ which engulfed our very own PMO in October 2014 over using Mr. Nepal’s photograph which comes under the purview of artistic work under the Indian Copyright law. The related article can be found here.

Cake and IP

A dig into cakes (not literally) from a legal perspective will show us that there are cases wherein the importance of intellectual property in cakes has been affirmed. A popular trademark and copyright infringement suit in United States of America was filed by the renowned Disney Enterprises and Sanrio Inc., (who owns the character Hello Kitty) against individuals, George Wilson and Danielle Wilson for allegedly selling unauthorized cake frosting sheets containing Disney and other related characters owned by the former.

Though I’m yet to see an aggressive drive to curb copyright infringement as far as cakes are concerned in India, it is to be borne in mind that Section 13 protects original, artistic works and cakes made out of original creative ideas are artistic too. So guess we should exercise caution when ordering a cake; be it on grounds of physical wellness or Intellectual Property!!