Melania Trump employed a law firm in Slovenia, Pirc Musar & Partnerji, to warn others from profiting from her name and image, according to ABC News. Since Donald Trump has become President-elect of the United States, many products from Slovenian entrepreneurs have carried his wife’s name and image without their consent. Musar discussed a billboard advertisement standing in the small town of Sevnica featuring the future first lady.
“A huge billboard in Sevnica with Melania’s picture, erected by a private web company for commercial purposes, is problematic,” as are “honey jars from ‘Melania’s home garden’ with Melania’s image and Slovenian and American flags… In Slovenia and most of Europe this represents a violation of personality rights.”
Products like honey jars claiming they were made “from Melania’s home garden” and pancakes with golden dust and a special breakfast with strawberries are a few things that have been for sale since Trump’s White House win last month, according to ABC News.
Melania Trump, who was then known as Melanija Knavs, grew up in the tiny town of Sevnica. In this tiny town, a cottage industry is selling a variety of Melania Trump-associated products from Slovenian honey to baked pastries, according to ABC News.
A pizzeria owner named Bruno Lojze Vedmar was the first to produce a first lady themed breakfast dessert. The delicious looking dessert is made of yogurt, strawberries, mascarpone, cream, cookie base, and silver or gold sugar pearls. The Sevnica entrepreneur called it Melanija. He told ABC News the item is a favorite amongst customers.
“It is a best-seller at my place, and since I don’t use a picture of Melania, I am not worried about copyright infringement.”
As for copyright infringement, Franc Krasovec said he isn’t worried about it. Krasovec is a Slovenian pancake master who invented a Melania Trump-themed pancake, according to ABC News.
“I don’t really know what copyright infringement is so I shall not worry about it.”
For decades Krasovec had 20 different varieties of pancakes on the menu. His pancakes are so popular that people from all over Europe have come to his restaurant to taste them.
“Only now that the White House is so close to Sevnica, I invented a 21st pancake with the finest ingredients: wild blueberries picked around the cottage, the finest bourbon vanilla filling and ice cream with edible gold dust to spice it up.”
Pirc Musar said that it’s items using Melania’s photo or last name that concern her. She said the giant Christmas tree in the Slovenian capital of Ljubljana called “Melania” is not a problem.
“[It’s] not a problem. No photo or last name is attached to it.”
As for Vedmar’s breakfast dessert, Pirc Musar added, “We personally tasted it and it’s very good.”
Trump wasn’t left out either. The pizzeria also offered a burger called Trump, which is renowned in the small town for the spicy pepperoni, according to Reuters.
The public warning from a lawyer representing Melania who said that using her name and photo without her consent is not allowed has prompted the owner to change the name of the spicy burger to Presidential Burger.
The names Trump, Melania, and Melania Trump are protected by trademarks, Natasa Pirc Musara told ABC News.
“We just want to draw public attention to the fact that the words Trump, Melania and Melania Trump are protected trademarks on one hand and that use of Mrs. Trump’s image, name and characteristic features used for commercial purposes may amount to her personality rights infringements on the other… We issued a press release and sent it to all Slovenian media. Now we count on people’s prudence to stop the practice.”
The director of the law firm added that it is not Melania Trump’s intention to sue anyone.
“Of course, my client does not want any legal proceedings, no lawsuits. At the moment, that’s out of the question… We are closely monitoring the situation and I am in contact with my client on a weekly basis.”
Sevnica sits on the banks of the River Sava surrounded by lush forest-covered hills. According to Reuters, local products include honey, wine, shoes, and lingerie.
[Featured Image by Jack Taylor/Stringer/Getty Images]