Jerry's Wife Wins in Seinfeld Cookbook Lawsuit
What's the deal with vegetables?
On Wednesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for New York's second circuit agreed with a lower court ruling, finding that the Jessica Seinfeld cookbook did not infringe on another author's work.
In 2007, Missy Chase Lapine filed her cookbook lawsuit against Jessica Seinfeld, claiming that her book "Deceptively Delicious: Simple Secrets To Get Your Kids Eating Good Food," was a rip-off of her own work, "The Sneaky Chef: Simple Strategies for Hiding Healthy Foods in Kids' Favorite Meals."
The eight page opinion by Judges Reena Raggi and Peter W. Hall quickly made it clear that the court was unpersuaded by Lapine's arguments:
Plaintiffs assert that "the two works are substantially similar in their unique and
innovative expression of the idea [of sneaking vegetables into children's food] by means of a cookbook containing comprehensive instructions for...using the purees in specially created recipes for children's favorite foods." We are not persuaded.
"Nothing was copied from Missy Chase Lapine and her baseless claims against Jessica were an abuse of the judicial system," Orin Snyder, the lawyer who represented Seinfeld, said in an e-mailed statement to Bloomberg. "Two different courts have now seen through these false allegations."
Despite the court of appeals ruling, Bloomberg reports that Lapine's cookbook lawsuit is far from over. "This is one battle in a larger dispute," Howard Miller, Lapine's attorney with Girardi & Keese in Los Angeles, said in a telephone interview. "Still pending in state court of New York is a suit against Jerry Seinfeld for defamation for comments against Missy Lapine, and that action is going forward."
- Seinfeld's wife wins second round in book battle (Reuters)
- Literary Property (LawBrain)
- Summary Order and Opinion [pdf] (Second Circuit Court of Appeals)
- Seinfeld's Wife Wins in Cookbook Infringement Appeal (Businessweek)
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