Updates to our Terms of Use

We are updating our Terms of Use. Please carefully review the updated Terms before proceeding to our website.

Sunday, July 21, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Seinfeld’s Wife Wins Cookbook Dispute

(CN) - Jessica Seinfeld won a copyright and trademark dispute with an author who accused the comedian's wife of swiping her ideas on sneaking healthy food into kids' meals. "Stockpiling vegetable purees for covert use in children's food is an idea that cannot be copyrighted," the 2nd Circuit ruled.

The federal appeals court in Manhattan upheld a federal judge's ruling that Seinfeld's cookbook, "Deceptively Delicious: Simple Secrets to Get Your Kids Eating Good Foods," is not "substantially similar" to Missy Chase Lapine's "The Sneaky Chef: Simple Strategies for Hiding Healthy Foods in Kids' Favorite Meals."

Lapine's book was released about four months earlier than Seinfeld's. Both books were New York Times bestsellers, with Seinfeld's reaching number one.

"Our independent comparison of the two cookbooks confirms that the 'total concept and feel' of 'Deceptively Delicious' is very different from that of 'The Sneaky Chef,'" the court wrote.

The three-judge panel said Seinfeld's book doesn't discuss child behavior, food philosophy and parenting as extensively as Lapine's book, and "The Sneaky Chef" offers more complex recipes than "Deceptively Delicious."

The court also contrasted the bright colors and numerous photographs in "Deceptively Delicious" with the black, gray and brownish-orange color scheme of "The Sneaky Chef."

Lapine had also accused Seinfeld of confusing readers by using a similar title and cover illustration. Seinfeld's cover shows a woman winking as she holds a plate of brownies near some carrots, while Lapine's book shows a female chef "shushing" as she conceals carrots behind her back.

The court called the illustrations "very different," and said Seinfeld's famous name "reduces any likelihood of confusion regarding the marks."

Categories / Uncategorized

Subscribe to Closing Arguments

Sign up for new weekly newsletter Closing Arguments to get the latest about ongoing trials, major litigation and hot cases and rulings in courthouses around the U.S. and the world.