Intellectual Property Law

Famed Seinfeld Name Helps Win Copycat Cookbook Claim

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Jessica Seinfeld is the wife of celebrity Jerry Seinfeld.

So readers of her cookbook, Deceptively Delicious: Simple Secrets To Get Your Kids Eating Good Food, are particularly unlikely to confuse it with Missy Chase Lapine’s The Sneaky Chef: Simple Strategies for Hiding Healthy Foods in Kids’ Favorite Meals, the New York City-based 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has determined.

Affirming a trial court decision dismissing the copyright and trademark claims Lapine brought in a plagiarism suit against Jessica Seinfeld and her publisher, the 2nd Circuit today held that the two cookbooks are significantly different in their “total concept and feel,” according to the New York Post and Reuters.

Plus, their shared concept that putting vegetable purees into food for kids makes it healthier is an idea that can’t be copyrighted, the court notes.

Lapine still has a chance of winning damages from Seinfeld’s famous husband, however: Her New York state-court defamation suit continues concerning comments that Jerry Seinfeld made about her on the Late Show with David Letterman.

Attorney Orin Snyder of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher represents the comedian and says he has a constitutional right to tell jokes.

“This is one battle in a larger dispute,” says Lapine’s lawyer, Howard Miller of Girardi & Keese in Los Angeles of the 2nd Circuit decision. He describes Seinfeld’s on-air comments about his client as “very derogatory,” reports Bloomberg.

The Post says Seinfeld called Lapine a “wacko,” among other comments.

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