Ina Garten, the East Hampton resident and Barefoot Contessa, is suing a frozen food company that she says is infringing her copyright.
Back in 2014, Garten hoped to buy back her name and brand from Contessa Premium Foods, according to The New York Times. Contessa Premium Foods was and is separate from Barefoot Contessa, but had licensed her name and image for a line of frozen meals. Garten hoped to also buy the operations supporting the company, The Times reported at the time, so she could continue manufacturing the product with the existing infrastructure.
However, before she could it, Contessa Premium Foods went out of business.
Newsday reports that OFI Imports Inc., a California-based company, purchased Contessa Premium Foods’ assets, but not the licensing rights to use the “Barefoot Contessa” brand. Garten’s lawsuit alleges that OFI continued to sell the Barefoot Contessa products, but now under the branding “Contessa Chef Inspired” with nearly identical packaging, replacing Garten’s image with a random woman.