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Seinfelds Prevail Over Sneaky Chef in Lawsuit

She may have a famous comedian for a husband, but that's not the only reason Jessica Seinfeld is laughing all the way to the bank. Yesterday, a federal judge tossed out another author's claims that Seinfeld had copied from her cookbook. Seinfeld made a name for herself with Deceptively Delicious, a cookbook that encourages tricking kids into eating healthier food.

Six months before Seinfeld's tome was published, Missy Chase Lapine, author of kiddie tome The Sneaky Chef, warned Seinfeld not to print Deceptively Delicious, citing content similarities. When the book hit the press, Lapine sued the Seinfelds on counts of defamation and plagiarism.The judge ruled that the works are distinct, and that Jessica's book has a "completely different feel." She did leave open claims of defamation against the defendant's husband, Jerry Seinfeld, who made fun of Lapine on Letterman.

While Jerry Seinfeld probably shouldn't cracked a public joke about Lapine, I believe the right decision was made — but maybe that's just because I'm partial to the Seinfelds. Do you think justice was served?

Image Source: WireImage
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sarah-lynn sarah-lynn 7 years
Did she really think that she could file a lawsuit against the Seinfields, and expect to NOT get ragged on publicly? Really?
TADOW TADOW 7 years
Justice was served only because, like Dootsie said, there would be a bad precedent set for future cases where someone claimed copyright infringement. However, the books were really similar, that doesn't mean that you can sue for it though. Not everything is worth a big pay day. Sorry.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 7 years
I agree with Dootsie. I saw some side-by-side comparisons, too, and they both seem like the same book. It was more than just a few similar recipes. It was awfully uncanny. If I was Ms. Lapine, I would be upset, too. Was justice served? In my opinion, no.
dootsie dootsie 7 years
Let me state, though, that I realize the argument was aimed at being one sided and included the recipes and concepts that were claimed to be copied. And I agree wholly that the similarities are suspicious. :)
dootsie dootsie 7 years
I saw some side-by-side comparisons... they're more or less the same book. A little rearranging, a little rephrasing, but it's pretty uncanny. That said, there really is only so much a person can do with veggies. But it's still not at all ridiculous for the first author to be upset. Did she ever stand a chance in court? Of course not. Jessica Seinfield could've straight up copied every last page and a sane judge wouldn't have ruled against her--setting that sort of precedent would leave the door wide open for all sorts of "copied my idea" claims.
Spectra Spectra 7 years
I still don't really get why this woman sued Jessica Seinfeld. It's not like it's a new concept; my parents pureed veggies and put it in stuff for us when we were kids too. They just both happened to publish books with some good recipes in them around the same time, that's all. You can't really sue someone just because they had a similar idea to yours. Case in point: The "snuggie" vs. the "slanket".
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