Pie and the law: Food for thought on Derby weekend

Hamilton County may not be located in Kentucky, but we certainly appreciate the festivities happening this weekend in our neighboring state. In honor of Derby weekend, we're sharing this article from NPR's "The Salt," which was published last year and features a few of our favorite things, including pie and the law.

According to the article, while the concept of "derby pie" may seem commonplace, the term "Derby-Pie®" is actually trademarked by Louisville's Kern's Kitchen. The Kerns trademarked the name of their signature pie, which includes walnuts and no bourbon, after their restaurant closed in 1960. ("The Salt" reports that many versions of pies once called "derby pie" feature pecans instead of walnuts and include bourbon.)

Since then Kern's has sued restaurant owners and even the food magazine Bon Appetit for using the term "derby pie." Bon Appetit argued that it could use the term "derby pie" because it was a generic description for a type of pie. The case made it all the way to the 6th Circuit, which held that the magazine had not adequately shown that the name was a generic term that didn't deserve to be protected by trademark. The court reversed the district court's order granting summary judgment to Bon Appetit and remanded the matter for trial. According to "The Salt," the parties then settled the case.

Have a great weekend and enjoy some pie!

Image via Wikimedia Commons user Markmark28. Note, this is described as a "home-made Kentucky chocolate walnut pie slice." It is not "Derby-Pie."