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US food blogger sues Food Network over snow globe cakes

A picture from the video showing the snow globe cupcakes Image copyright SugarHero
Image caption The blogger says the cupcakes have become her "signature recipe"

A Utah food blogger is taking an international television channel to court - over snow globe cupcakes.

Elizabeth LaBau has filed a lawsuit against the Food Network after they allegedly copied her idea for the sweet treats.

But it is not the recipe itself which Ms LaBau is fighting them over. In fact, it is almost impossible to claim copyright over a list of ingredients.

Instead, her claim is against their how-to video.

In her filing Ms LaBau - who runs the website SugarHero - says the cupcakes have become her "signature recipe" since they went viral in 2015.

And so she decided to create a video to show people exactly how to make the cupcakes, complete with edible globes made of gelatine, in December 2016.

However, three weeks later, another, similar video appeared on Food Network's Facebook page.

Image copyright SugarHero/Food Network
Image caption SugarHero (left) put the video up three weeks before Food Network (right)

According to the court papers, after a number of attempts to get the television channel to remove the video, or attribute SugarHero as its inspiration, Ms LaBau decided to launch legal action, citing losses in advertising revenue.

"Disappointingly, rather than come up with their own ideas and content, Food Network released a video shortly after hers which copied Elizabeth's creative proprietary work shot-for-shot in order to profit from her creativity and hard work without investing the same time, effort, and thought," William Bowen, her lawyer, told the BBC.

The Food Network told the BBC it had only just learned of the complaint, and had nothing more to say at this time.

"We hope Food Network will recognize their error and take steps to address this wrongful misappropriation," said Mr Bowen.

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