Hi there, fellow cooking show lover.

Channel Seven recently commenced legal action against Channel Nine and the producer of “The Hotplate”, Endemol, alleging that The Hotplate is ripped-off My Kitchen Rules.

As part of these proceedings, Channel Seven applied to restrain Nine from broadcasting any episodes of The Hotplate until the copyright case has been decided. On the 6th of August 2015, Justice Nicholas handed down his judgement.

Here is what you need to know:

1. The Hotplate will remain on our TVs for now.

While there are similarities in the formats of both shows, both sides have strong arguments to put forward. As such, the court ruled that Nine will not be restrained from broadcasting The Hotplate.

2. How original is MKR?

Seven claims that several key elements of MKR were copied in The Hotplate, including:

  • being cooking competition amongst multiple pairs of contestants;
  • the other teams travel (interstate) to the home of the team whose turn it is to cook;
  • the“host team” prepares and serves a three course meal;
  • two expert judges who are established professionals within the restaurant/food industry;
  • a 3 hour meal preparation time-limit;
  • the host team receiving scores from the judges, and separately, a combined score from the guest teams; and
  • scores are tallied and added to a “leader board”.
  • There is no doubt that both shows have their similarities. The question is, rather, if the key elements in MKR are original and should be given copyright protection.

3. Professionals and amateurs

Justice Nicholas considered a key difference between the two shows when deciding to not restrain Nine from broadcasting The Hotplate. The contestants in The Hotplate are professional restaurateurs who prepare and serve meals in their restaurants, while the contestants in MKR are amateur chefs who prepare and serve the meals in their homes.

The courts will decide if Nine and Endemol breaches Seven’s copyright in the next few months. In the meantime, let’s kick back and enjoy both shows!

Let us know your thoughts on social media by adding #lawpath or tagging us on @lawpath. Keep an eye out on the LawPath blog for updates.

Dominic Woolrych

Dominic is the CEO of LawPath, dedicating his days to making legal easier, faster and more accessible to businesses. Dominic is a recognised thought-leader in Australian legal disruption, and was recognised as a winner of the 2015 Australian Legal Innovation Index.