KAMI_Cakes Posted 22 Dec 2010 , 4:11pm
post #1 of

I've always wondered, is it illegal for me to make a "brand name" cake? For example, using a company's logo or design pattern. Would I need legal rights to do so for a cake? I've seen cake makers on TV make brand name cakes and designs. Did they need proper permission from the actual company to do so? Any insight into this would be greatly appreciated!

8 replies
indydebi Posted 22 Dec 2010 , 5:15pm
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The thing about seeing things on TV or in magazines is that you don't knwo all of the work that went on behind the scenes. Yes, anything that is copyrighted, you need a license or permission to use. If you're making a cake for, let's say, a company's 50th anniversary or their annual meeting dinner, its easy enough to get them to send you a letter granting permission to use their copyrighted logo on the cake that you are making for them. (This are usually one-time use permissions.)

llbesq Posted 22 Dec 2010 , 5:33pm
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The prudent route is to always seek permission to use any logo or "name brand." A few months ago I made a helmet cake (1/2 Univ of Tenn and 1/2 Colts) for a groom's cake. It was relatively easy to obtain written one-time use permission from UT and the Colts.

cupadeecakes Posted 22 Dec 2010 , 5:37pm
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Very interesting topic, indeed! Can you go into more detail about who you contacted at the company (marketing?) and how the process went? How long did it take to acquire the permission? Thanks!

llbesq Posted 22 Dec 2010 , 7:13pm
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Jenniffer- I just went to the websites and looked for contact information that looked promising and I do believe my first contact was to marketing (or other similarly named groups) by email. In each instance, I received an email back within a week or so with the permission granted either in the body of the e-mail or in an attached letter. In my e-mails, I explained about the request for a groom's cake, etc. and asked for permission for a one-time use. I was surprised as to how simple it was to obtain permission. Let me know if you have any other questions!

KimberleysOven Posted 26 Dec 2010 , 6:37pm
post #6 of

What about cakes that are in Step-By-Step type articles in magazines and decorating books? Some of mine in my album are taken from these types of articles, although I've never sold them, if someone were to ask for something like this in the future when I'm confident enough to sell cakes, would it be illegal? Do all of your cakes have to be completely original in order to not cause copyright issues? Unless, of course, you get permission.

It's all new to me, sorry if I've asked something silly icon_smile.gif

jillmakescakes Posted 26 Dec 2010 , 10:14pm
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kimberly, it isn't the design of the cake that is copyrighted, but rather the specific elements, such as the colts horseshoe or coach logo. Typically, when designs are in books/mags with step-by-step instructions, the understanding is that they are meant to be reproduced.

KimberleysOven Posted 26 Dec 2010 , 10:32pm
post #8 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by jillmakescakes

kimberly, it isn't the design of the cake that is copyrighted, but rather the specific elements, such as the colts horseshoe or coach logo. Typically, when designs are in books/mags with step-by-step instructions, the understanding is that they are meant to be reproduced.




Thanks! I thought that would be the case as otherwise, what would be the point? You aren't going to make every design in a book for yourself. Just thought I'd ask though icon_smile.gif

KimberleysOven Posted 30 Dec 2010 , 2:29pm
post #9 of

Another question, sorry! If you were asked to make a pretty simple cake design, and copyright character toys were placed on the cake (rather than you copying them yourself) does that cause issues with copyright law? Does it make a difference whether you as the cake maker put them on, or whether the person who bought the cake put them on (therefore being after the sale and out of your hands)?

Thanks! icon_smile.gif

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