Cake Central › Cake Forums › Cake Talk › Cake Decorating › Any way around this?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Any way around this?

post #1 of 91
Thread Starter 

Hi,

 

I have someone that wants an over the hill themed cake.  Part of the cake has a pill bottle that has Viagra on it.  I told her that Viagra is under copyright and can't use the actually word.  I tried to get her to abbreviate and she thinks that will 'take away from the cake".  Is there anyway around this?  Is an edible image possible?  Or getting the name from a package and sticking it to fondant and putting it on the cake?  Would misspelling - adding an extra 'a' at the end make it not the same product or is that a no-no?

 

Thanks!

post #2 of 91

I may be wrong but I don't think using a word is a big deal at all.  I'm sure some people would disagree, but I use words like Kleenex and Bandaid all of the time.  

Sometimes I think the copyright do gooders get carried away. 

post #3 of 91

Names can't be copyrighted,  So there isn't a problem in the woman's request.

 

http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ34.pdf

post #4 of 91

Jason would know:smile:

post #5 of 91
There is a problem with the request. While names can't be copyrighted they most certainly can be trademarked, and Viagra is trademarked. This link might be helpful http://www.piperpat.com/IPInformation/Introduction/WhatisaTrademark/tabid/90/Default.aspx

If you are making a Viagra cake you're hoping tat Pfizer doesn't choose to go after you, just the same as if you make a Mickey Mouse cake you would hope ta Disney doesn't go after you.

There s one way around it that I can think of. If you buy something tat as the word Viagra on it then fair use applies. This doesn't mean that you can replicate the trademarked name, it means that you can use the item that you purchased however you want. Similarly, I purchased a Muckey Mouse figurine. It didn't allow me to make a cake with copyrighted material on it, but I used the figurine as a cake topper.

I hope that hels icon_smile.gif
post #6 of 91
Instead of writing 'Viagra' on the label, could you write 'Little Blue Pills' ? Colloquially everyone knows what that means - I actually would find that funnier personally.
New to Cake Central, but have been baking from scratch and decorating for 20 years and running my business for 3 years.
Misc 3D Cakes
(10 photos)
Anniversary
(2 photos)
Reply
New to Cake Central, but have been baking from scratch and decorating for 20 years and running my business for 3 years.
Misc 3D Cakes
(10 photos)
Anniversary
(2 photos)
Reply
post #7 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by lindseyjhills View Post

Instead of writing 'Viagra' on the label, could you write 'Little Blue Pills' ? Colloquially everyone knows what that means - I actually would find that funnier personally.

 



Absolutely agree I think that would be much better!
post #8 of 91
Thread Starter 

I don't think she will go for that.  I tried to do VGR and she didn't think anyone would know what that meant.  But I will ask her.  Can I add extra letters to change the name but not change the name to avoid the trademark?  Like write 'Viaggaraa' or something to that effect?  Or is that still considered the name?

post #9 of 91
Don't negotiate- she has two choices- no pot of pills or a pot with 'little blue pills" written on it, its up to you if you risk toying with copyright but since you've told her there is an issue with the trademark I would see it as perfectly fine to give her just those two options.
post #10 of 91

Considering that Pfizer has no regard for human life in general and, for example,  is an entity that used an experimental antibiotic on Nigerian children with meningitis without the consent of their parents who thought their children were getting the established protocol... which resulted in the deaths of more than 50 of them,  I have no doubt that they'd not blink at squashing a person who makes cakes if they wanted to do so.

 

I don't know how you'd fight them if they wanted to go after you -  in Nigeria, they managed to push down restitution for the wrongful death of a child to just $175,000 per child. Of course things are a little different here and it seems like they'd be rather silly to do something like this since the last thing they need is bad press about bullying the little guy.

 

I'd probably be inclined to tell the customer that nothing about Pfizer is funny to me and to find someone else to do the cake.

post #11 of 91
There shouldn't be a problem using the name "Viagra" on a cake in a generic font as long as you don't use the Viagra logo, the Pfizer logo, or the pill design (round blue pills should be fine).

See point number 2 in the link below:
http://www.inta.org/TrademarkBasics/FactSheets/Pages/TrademarkUseFactSheet.aspx
Quote:
It is usually permissible to use another company’s trademark when referring to that company’s product in text, where it is being used to truthfully refer to that a product or service affiliated with that trademark. It may not be used in a way that might mislead others as to that company’s affiliation, sponsorship or endorsement of your company, products or services, such as using a logo instead of simply the text form of a trademark, or using the trademark more prominently or frequently than necessary.
post #12 of 91

How about putting a funny name on the pill bottle such as Perky Pecker Pills and have some little  candy blue pills next to the pill bottle.

post #13 of 91

I honestly wouldn't risk it. I have heard some scary stories of companies going after cake decorators. Even Walmart doesn't mess with it anymore. I went to get an edible image of Justin Beiber for a cake and they don't do trademarked ones anymore. You can only do photos and images that you photographed and nothing that contains something copywrited or trademarked.
It would be like someone using an image of your cake on their website, saying "Well, this cake isn't mine, it belongs to so and so, but I made one just like it"... it starts to cross some lines you don't know that you actually want to cross.
I would straight up tell her it is ILLEGAL and you will not be able to do it. Offer her some of the ideas presented here... or nothing. Her choice.

post #14 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by LeslieBruckman View Post

I went to get an edible image of Justin Beiber for a cake and they don't do trademarked ones anymore. You can only do photos and images that you photographed and nothing that contains something copywrited or trademarked.

You are correct that there are copyright issues with photos and images, but OP is talking about referring to a trademarked product by name in plain text with no logos or styling involved. In the example above, the equivalent would be writing the text "Justin Beiber" on a cake with the outline of a generic person, this would not infringe on any copyright or trademark.
post #15 of 91
I would love to see that cake though Jason!
elsewhere.
Reply
elsewhere.
Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cake Decorating
Cake Central › Cake Forums › Cake Talk › Cake Decorating › Any way around this?