What is the legal ramification of posting a name of recipe and recipe ingredient using a trademarked name? (in the title , etc)

Example: I first posted my recipe for bread pudding as Coffee-Nutella Bread Pudding. I changed it to Coffee- Nochella Bread Pudding because I wasn't sure. (I made up nochella)

  • Posted by: dymnyno
  • April 21, 2011


stack April 21, 2011
Trademarks exist to recognize and protect the association of words and images with particular products (ie. Nuttella with a particular chocolate hazelnut spread). You are only infringing a trademark if you are doing something that confuses the market about that association, or trying to pass off something you are selling as originating with the trademark owner. So naming Nuttella or something like it as an ingredient in a recipe would generally not be an infringement. Putting the trademark in a title could, I guess, attract the attention of a trademark holder if they thought there was some risk of creating confusion about one of its products. Seems like a pretty unlikely contingency though.
pierino April 21, 2011
I agree with Antonia James on this one. For my blog I'm frequently solicited by FoodBuzz sponsors to test recipes using their products. If I accept any samples and do use them on my blog I'm required to note a disclaimer that I was sampled by the manufacturer. But yes, the producers do want you to promote their products.
AntoniaJames April 21, 2011
I'm not a trademark specialist, but generally, if you are actually using the ingredient in the recipe, there should be no problem whatsoever in including the name of it in the title. In fact, the owner of the mark will probably be delighted that you are promoting their product. If you are simply using the term "nutella" generically to mean the combination of chocolate and hazelnut, the owner of the mark could ask you not to use their trademarked name that way. I doubt that they'd do anything more than ask you simply to stop doing it. I haven't checked the terms of use for this site; there may be something there that addresses this. ;o)
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