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Seinfeld Wins Culinary Copyright Claim

Posted: May 3, 2010 - Blog

Jessica, not Jerry, Seinfeld won a big decision in New York Court this week as the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan sided for Seinfeld and against Missy Chase Lapine. Lapine brought suit claiming that Seinfeld copied her copyrighted secrets from her 2007 book “The Sneaky Chef,” which aimed to get children to eat their veggies. Seinfeld’s 2007 book “Deceptively Delicious” was found to be non-infringing, with the court ruling that “stockpiling vegetable purees for covert use in children’s food is an idea that cannot be copyrighted.”

Copyrights are protectable only as expressions, not as ideas. Had Seinfeld taken Lapine’s recipe word for word, there would be a claim, but the basic idea is something that copyright law in the US will not cover.

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