Liscensed Cakes?

Decorating By lastingmoments Updated 26 Apr 2005 , 4:45am by Lisa

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lastingmoments Posted 25 Apr 2005 , 7:12am
post #1 of 15

Ok this may be silly.... but I read in someones post .....(I dont remember which one because Ive read so many) that it is illegal to sell liscensed character cakes? should i be worried...????

I mean whats the difference between buying a cake pan shaped like a character (which we pay for), VS. buying Toys and putting them on a cake( again which we pay for) and finally going thru a wholesale company like deco pac and paying for there toys and gadgets?

I went to bed last night and started thinking about everything and started to confused my self........... icon_eek.gif

or am i making way to much of this....

14 replies
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flayvurdfun Posted 25 Apr 2005 , 7:31am
post #2 of 15

supposedly you only buy the right to those objects for your personal use... not to resell....but for the most part the people whose characters they are wont do much to the little guy, but may if it becomes more then a home maker making cakes for people.... I am also afraid to charge for these cakes.... I ask only for the cost of the stuff I use, or have them buy everything for the cake and I will do it that way... I always get what I paid for the stuff and since they are friends of mine, they do slip extra for my time.... I am still only making 20 (if that) for a 9x13 usually double layer. Now I do want more for a cake that isnt character themed... I will still ask for the money back for the ingredients, but then I do tell them I will add another 10 dollars on top for my time.... I think thats the reason why I very rarely get an order for something other then character theme....

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lastingmoments Posted 25 Apr 2005 , 7:36am
post #3 of 15

that makes sense but the more i thought about it....then i started thinking about they sell ?toys? and they are used for cakes for selling to the public.

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flayvurdfun Posted 25 Apr 2005 , 9:01am
post #4 of 15

yeah, thats true, but they have a commerical/businesslicense to do it, the exec of the companies sign contracts and such...its confusing, but I only had to worry about if it was ok to have in the store.... its like walmart kmart etc...they have a license to sell stuff the company makes...they cant say have character cookies or whatever made from an employee at home to sell there...thats a little farfetched idea I know but I think you'll understand that.....

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diane Posted 25 Apr 2005 , 9:50am
post #5 of 15

you can not sell licensed character cakes, except by permission. but, since there are soo many people doing it, they can't go after everyone. i make the
licensed cakes for people and charge them according to my time, but i won't post the prices on my web...only when they call for a price list.

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flayvurdfun Posted 25 Apr 2005 , 10:05am
post #6 of 15

ya know I didnt think of it at the time I wrote my last post on this, but when i was painting on the walls at time for tots here on base, I tried to contact the people of sesame street, disney, and nickelodean.. just to see if it was ok since it was in a public place... I didnt hear back from disney, but ss and nick asked if any money was exchanging hands I told them no, all the paint was donated and I was going to do the drawing I just didnt want to to do anything I shouldnt...they said (off the record) by rights its no, but as long as no money exchanges hands we arent breaking any real "rights" and for the most part companies dont have the time to go after the little guy, it would cost them more money to do something then it being worth it...if it were playskool or fisher price doing it oh yeah they'd be going down"
but like I said I dont really charge for character cakes persey just the ingredients and I have the parent bring those to me for the most part...or if they will they can give me the pan if it is a character pan cake they want.

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Lisa Posted 25 Apr 2005 , 2:17pm
post #7 of 15

I believe it's okay to use the toys on top of cakes although some of the companies that make the character cake toppers will only sell to licensed bakeries. The only company I know of that takes this stuff seriously is Disney. They've sued people over the use of characters on merchandise like one couple who was making yard signs with them to sell at flea markets. They've also sued daycares. The Barney people are the same way. They've sued daycares over wall art. Whether you sell a cake or not, using the characters/logos is infringement. Most companies won't sue over it, it's bad press. Disney has become know as a scrooge when it comes to this kind of stuff.

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stephanie214 Posted 25 Apr 2005 , 6:44pm
post #8 of 15

Hi Everyone, I didn't know that it was against the law to sell the character pans until one day I posted some of my work on Wilton's Forum and was asking how much I should charge. Wilton e-mailed me and told me that it was against the law to sell these character cakes because the companies are not getting any of the PROFITS. And that the pans were not made for commerical use, only home use. They also told me that you can not do drawings, transfers, etc. of the characters whatsoever on cakes that you are selling.

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lastingmoments Posted 25 Apr 2005 , 8:59pm
post #9 of 15

Yeah know after reading so many post this was one of the things that i started to think about. It all makes sense but the more i thought about it I was like ...Hey they do get there money when we but the product.....but i guess we dont make the rules they do?

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CIndymm4 Posted 25 Apr 2005 , 9:31pm
post #10 of 15

Gosh, this is good to know since I am just starting out.....I haven't had any ordes for character cakes, just regular decorated ones, but if someones asks me to do one, I'll know what the rules are now. Thanks for bringing this out!

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msumissa Posted 26 Apr 2005 , 12:24am
post #11 of 15

I don't think it is illigal, they just tell you that to scare you. Check out the web site for more information. But here is a quote regarding the first sale doctrine..."The whole point of the first sale doctrine is that once the copyright owner places a copyrighted item in the stream of commerce by selling it, he has exhausted his exclusive statutory right to control its distribution."
Justice Stevens, delivering an opinion for a unanimous Supreme Court in the case QUALITY KING DISTRIBUTORS, INC. v. L'ANZA RESEARCH INT'L, INC. (96-1470), 98 F.3d 1109, reversed. Therefore, once you pay for the licence in purchasing a character pan, the seller loses all copyright. Therefore, for my understanding, you can make what you want. In addition, I know several bakeries that sell character cakes and cakes with items purchased on it. I see no reason why you can't do the same. Granted, it may take you some time to fight it in court, but I think the law is on your side.

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Lisa Posted 26 Apr 2005 , 1:40am
post #12 of 15

I think the laws can be confusing but I've looked into it and this is what I found. The characters/logos are copyrighted/trademarked. If you use the trademarked image for profit (like selling a character cake or if any $ changes hands), you've infringed on the trademark owner's rights. Trademark ownership lasts indefinately. Trademark ownership can be lost though if the owner doesn't protect the trademark.

If you have been licensed to sell trademarked goods (like Wilton), you pay a royalty to the owner and the owner get to control how the trademark is represented.

So unless you've been licensed to use the trademark, you're breaking the law.

Here's an example How To Sell Rugrats

and more info

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Lisa Posted 26 Apr 2005 , 2:56am
post #13 of 15

Here's where I'm still confused. Decopac is licensed by these companies to sell character cake toppers. You buy the cake topper and use it on a cake. You're not copying a trademark...that was done by decopac who was licensed to do so. The royalty for that product was already paid and indirectly paid by you when you bought it. I don't think it's illegal to sell cakes with the cake toppers or toys on them but I just don't know. Does anyone know?

Grocery store bakeries use these toppers but it's my understanding that they have to be arranged in a certain way (control of the trademark image stuff).

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lastingmoments Posted 26 Apr 2005 , 3:35am
post #14 of 15

See thats what i was thinking.....because I have a catolog from decopac and I dont see much a price Difference between the sets in there and the toys at the store....I havent sold my character cakes but i usually make them for my niece, daughter, or brothers and sisters but after the last couple of cakes Ive had a couple of request......
I dont own a bakery but I do own a business... Im a photographer and I decided since mostly i do weddings I would slowy break in to other areas of the wedding Invitations and now cakes.....

So thats why I was like ok Im a normal person ....(cakes not offically my thing) and I can buy from decopac so ....Can Is sell them???? And then most of the time. I like my own designs I think of better....

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Lisa Posted 26 Apr 2005 , 4:45am
post #15 of 15

I'd rather design my own cakes than use a decopac too. There are a lot of bakeries and people like you and I doing it (their own cake designs). I don't see a lot of fear or lawsuits. I think we just need to be aware that it's not legal and decide whether we want to take the risk.

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