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Is it Patentable?
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   Patent for recipe (Method, not just ingridients)
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   Author  Topic: Patent for recipe (Method, not just ingridients)  (Read 35427 times)
Regina Zaslavets
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Patent for recipe (Method, not just ingridients)
« on: Jul 1st, 2004, 12:13pm »
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Hello
 
I have a recipe for cooking vegetables. I did some research in internet regarding patent for recipe. It seems that is almost impossible to patent a recipe with is just a composition of some ingredients, and it is better to copyright it and to make a trade secret. And it is impossible to patent it if there are similar products on the market.
 
But my recipe is a special method of cooking/preparing vegetables. And There is no similar product on the market, as far a I know.
 
Is it possible to patent the method, so it will be impossible for competitors to do something similar without breaking patent law?
If yes, what is the process to patent recipe? How long it usually takes? How much it can cost in general?
 
Thank you very much for your answer in advance.
 
Regina
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Richard Tanzer
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Re: Patent for recipe (Method, not just ingridient
« Reply #1 on: Jul 1st, 2004, 8:12pm »
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In principle you may patent a method of cooking food.  In fact there are many such patents.  Just running a quick search for patents with the words “food” and “cook$” (the “$” is the wild card in the USTPO search engine) came up with 2789 patents.
 
The difficulty is that there are so many recipes and methods of cooking that it may be difficult to demonstrate novelty and nonobviousness.  I suggest that you do a search on the patent office web search, http://www.uspto.gov/patft/index.html, and see if there are close matches to your recipe.  You should also look at cookbooks and other references.
 
If after your search, you still believe that you have a novel, non-obvious method; then you should consider if the business value of a patent is worth the $10,000 to $20,000 it is likely to cost you to hire a patent professional and obtain a US patent.
 
Best of luck,
 
Richard
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Steve_R
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Re: Patent for recipe (Method, not just ingridient
« Reply #2 on: Jul 7th, 2004, 7:30pm »
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I second Richard's answer.  Indeed, when I was in private practice, we filed a patent on a recipe for a unique method/recipe for tea.
 
How I view it is, a recipe is merely a process.  The question boils (sorry for the pun) down to whether the process is new and unobvious.  If it is, you will be able to get a patent after incurring costs.
 
Best of luck,
Steve.
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Tony
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Re: Patent for recipe (Method, not just ingridient
« Reply #3 on: Sep 16th, 2004, 1:18am »
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So is it possible to patent a recipe for a new candy product that does not exist in the marketplace so the larger, established companies cannot manufacture my product or a product that is very similar to mine?  I'm moreso worried that if my candy catches on, a large company can take my product and do it themselves or to protect myself if I ever decide to approach a larger company.
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JSonnabend
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Re: Patent for recipe (Method, not just ingridient
« Reply #4 on: Sep 16th, 2004, 7:26am »
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To echo what the others have said above, recipes are absolutely patentable as a subject matter.  I remember when I was in law school and working for the now defunct Pennie and Edmonds, I kept coming across a case that dealt with a Hormel patent on preparing processed pork patties (or something like that).  It's not exactly home cooking, but it was undeniably a recipe.
 
On a more practical note, I think the more your "invention" address new preparation/cooking methods, as opposed to merely new combinations of ingredients, the better your chances will be to receive patent protection.
 
- Jeff
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SonnabendLaw
Intellectual Property and Technology Law
Brooklyn, USA
718-832-8810
JSonnabend@SonnabendLaw.com
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