I was in a thrift store the other day and came across a cast-iron cookie skillet. It was in the shape of Darth Vader's helmet and had a relief of the face. I had to buy it and make Darth Vader chocolate chip cookies. The Dark Side never tasted so good!

Looking at the cookie skillet - there was none of the original packaging - I see no marking on it other than what I assume is the manufacturer. I have no idea if it was a legally licensed product from LucasFilm... But let us assume it was.

Not that I will, but could I use this cookie mold to make and sell Darth Vader cookies? Or would that violate copyright?

Also, what about bakeries themselves? You can go in buy a children's birthday cake and ask for a theme like Star Wars, Harry Potter, whatever and they will sell it to you... Is that legal? Or is it illegal and copyright holders just dont bother enforcing it?

1 Answer 1


It depends on what rights the copyright owners choose to grant. In the case of the skillet, assuming that it was properly licensed, it seems safe to assume that LucasFilms or their agent intended that it be used to create cookies using an image of Darth Vader, so that use was approved by them. Whether commercial use of the image, by selling cookies, was included in such a license, cannot be determined from the info in th4 question. Quite possibly not. Even if such a license was granted, it would be hard for one who bought the skillet second hand to prove that, in the face of a challenge from LucasFilms . So if they brought suit over such a use, they might well win.

As to the bakeries where cakes and other good with images of cartoon and movie characters are sold, they should have bought rights that allow them to make and sell such products. They may have. Or they may be infringing, but the copyright or trademark owners choose not to sue. It depends entirely on what agreements the various bakeries may have entered into, and those are not normally public.

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