Trademarks and Sweet Treats

In earlier classes, the lack of copyright protection for chef creations such as signature dishes or recipes themselves was mentioned. Trademarks, on the other hand, offer some limited IP protections for names of particular dishes.

A Toronto bakery called Dufflet which sells ‘cakelets’, which are noted for their size (being slightly smaller than a traditional cake), sent a cease and desist letter to a local bakery for advertising their cakes as ‘cakelettes’, thereby infringing on their trademark.

One could argue that legal constraints on unique or creative terms or phrases can affect the popularity or recognition of one’s work. It is interesting to consider the precise dynamics or interplay between language, which constantly evolves, and ways in which the law affects the use of creative language.

… “thermos” and “yellow pages,” once distinctive words; they have been found, in the United States, to be generic. Likewise, the meaning of “cakelet,” Katz says, may have also evolved.

“Language is a dynamic thing,” he says. “It develops all the time; meanings change.”

As well, here is a related academic article by Jeanne Fromer entitled “The Role of Creativity in Trademark Law”:

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