So I always turn down and explain about how most character cakes are actually illegal. However, I would like to offer theme cakes or licensed action figure cakes. Something that is technically not breaking the copyright law, but still matches up with the party theme. The problem I am having, is trying to figure out what is technically trademarked or not. I know that themes, colors, and ideas cannot be copyrighted, but I am not sure where that line really is. For example, is the green fist a trademark? Can no one ever make a green fist coming out of a cake? Or would any type of bat silhouette over a black and yellow or blue cake be considered trademark infringement? What about a black mask similar to Batman, or dare I even say just a cape?
Also, I have read somewhere that it can be OK to use trademarks as long as they’re not being used in a similar way as the original trademark holder or causes confusion. So for example, would it be OK to use some of the big trademark logos in a cake since most of them deal with movies and merchandise, and not baked goods? At least if you put a disclaimer?
What do you guys think? It’s not something I have touched in a cake or have offered yet, at least not commercially, but where do you guys draw the line? Or will you not even touch anything that is remotely even themed around stuff like Disney, Marvel, or DC?
for batman for example you can do a city skyscape with buildings and a spot light -- but I tell yah the easiest way to do this is draw a thick line between you and trademarked/copyrighted aka trm/cp stuff -- because people will pepper you to pieces with requests if they find the littlest wiggle room --
for mickey mouse -- you could do a random clubhouse and musical notes or whatever -- the client could add the Disney stuff -- I would always have the client add the trm/cr stuff --
keep it generic -- for batman you could do a mask like a Halloween party mask but not with the oval behind it & all -- do you see what I mean?
you can also ask for permission to use sport logos and things like that -- contact the legal department get it in writing -- if it's granted one time or continuous -- school logos -- if it was cake for my kid's team -- sure -- if it was for the university i'd get permission
say for a retirement cake -- say for fedex a big employer here -- in the past --- I would use the logo because it's going to that business -- but nowadays I would ask permission -- I've done plane cakes for employees there --
we have st. jude -- I would only use their logo by permission -- they are a big big charitable business and using their logo is a big big deal -- any other random hospital's logo -- i'd probably do it for employees -- stuff like that --
the green fist is for incredible hulk right? no I wouldn't -- but the fist for rock & roll -- sure I would
do you see some difference there?
and maybe this actually displays the littlest wiggle room but this is how I've operated and would operate nowadays
lebonheur hospital, a children's hospital -- that also takes
disregard this last sentence fragment -- "lebonheur hospital, a children's hospital -- that also takes"
The only cakes that I've ever done which included copywritten figures were for Icing Smiles or my family, not for sale. The possibility of being called out for using them without permission is slim, but I, personally, would not touch it with a ten foot pole.
That’s the only time I’ve done them as well. However, half the orders I get are for this stuff, and I do not have a lot of business by any means, and there are so many people that break both the copyright and food cottage laws here, that I am reallu losing a lot of business that I already don’t have
but that's not viable business that's black market stuff although it's right out in the open
There is a company that makes kits that can be used. I think it's "Bakery Crafts'. The only problem there is one cannot deviate in any way, form, or color from what the directions state/show. In other words if the directions say a red shell boarder using tip 23 that's exactly what you must do - not a blue border of dots or anything else.