We have received a lot of phone calls, emails and requests for my company to make a variety of Character Cake Pops; Elmo, Minnie Mouse, Mickey Mouse, Angry Birds, etc.
I'm sure that if you've surfed the web for Cake Pops, you have seen these same Cake Pops for sale on Itsy or other Cake Pop business sites. I'm sure your first thoughts are about Bakerella. I'm a huge fan of her work and she's a real inspiration as the creator of the Cake Pop craze. The difference is, she does not sell her Cake Pops and she has copyright permission from these companies to use their artwork. These other business owners are taking a huge chance that I cannot afford to take. My staff and I have worked too hard to build this business to have it destroyed by a stupid mistake and a bunch of high powered attorneys. I have heard horror stories by other cake decorators getting cease and desist letters from Chanel for making purse cakes that have the Chanel logo, or other big companies. I understand that you or your child may really want a certain character for their Cake Pops, but please understand that we could be put out of business by making those characters. We can do generic characters; Santa, animals, sports balls, and we can make our Classic Cake Pops in the same colors of the party theme. So far my customers have been pretty understanding, which I appreciate. There have been a couple of potential customers that have been pretty pushy in their requests, which makes me wonder if they were hired by a copyright attorney to see if we would give in.
We were fortunate to have dealt with a copyright and patent attorney, so that we could secure the copyright of the swirl that is featured in our logo. Yes, we own the copyright of our trademark swirl. This same attorney took the time to inform me of the law concerning my business and I am so thankful that he did. It's so tempting to make these adorable characters for my customers, but it's a temptation that I absolutely must refrain from.
I hope that if you read this blog and you are my customer, you have a new understanding on why I cannot risk my entire business for your request and if you are a fellow cake baker and decorator, I hope that understanding how I protect my business can inspire you to take the same stand and protect your business as well. You can find out more information concerning copyright law at http://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/faq-fairuse.html#sued