A cake copyright conflict in Auckland, New Zealand

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A cake copyright conflict in Auckland, New Zealand

A cake copyright conflict has emerged in Auckland, New Zealand. In fact, most of the conflict erupts in the United States, and only the accuser’s base of operation is located in New Zealand. The argument is between formal partners, the American supermodel Chrissy Teigen and Jordan Rondel, founder of Auckland-based The Caker.

Christine Diane Teigen is an American model and television personality. She made her professional modeling debut in the annual Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue in 2010 and later appeared on the 50th-anniversary cover alongside Nina Agdal and Lily Aldridge in 2014.

When her supermodel carrier slowly turns to an end, she starts to engage more in advertisement for big companies. However, one of her latest advertisement campaigns has met an obstacle when she published a line of baking kits for banana bread, pancake and cookies under her food enterprise Cravings.

To provide more background information, Teigen had partnered with Jordan Rondel, founder of Auckland-based The Caker which also has an outlet in Los Angeles (The accuser of the conflict) in September 2022. Their collaboration included the issuance of a cake mix for spiced carrot and salted caramel cake. This was a success and both should have parted ways with content.

However, on October 21, Teigen debuted a range of baking kits with packaging that is identical to Rondel’s goods. The images of a hand and a cake on a white background are the most strikingly alike. This action has affected Jordan Rondel, leading to her accusing the formal supermodel of being a copycat on social media (Instagram).

A Cravings representative, the associate company of Teigen has denied Rondel’s accusation but no further action has been made until now.

Expert opinions

Jenni Rutter, a partner at Dentons Kensington Swan in Auckland, took a look at the case and said that while there are indeed similarities in the design style, the case might not be so bizarre in the food industry.

Rutter noted: “It is often difficult to say where the line is between legal and illegal behaviour when it comes to trade dress. On the whole, it is difficult to prove that packaging is deceptively similar. A lot turns on what the average consumer would think and whether he or she would be misled or deceived. Research shows that as consumers, we depend heavily on brand names to guide us when choosing products. The brand names, in this case, are quite different – ‘The Caker’ and ‘Cravings,’ so that helps people distinguish the products.”

According to Rutter, it is hard for the New Zealand-base baking company to win the case if the owner decided to take the matter to another level.

***Other Articles***

– You could see the Procedure of Trademark in New Zealand here.

– You could also see the Required documents of filing trademark in New Zealand here.

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