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(Message started by: Regina Zaslavets on Jul 1st, 2004, 12:13pm)

Title: Patent for recipe (Method, not just ingridients)
Post by Regina Zaslavets on Jul 1st, 2004, 12:13pm
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

Title: Re: Patent for recipe (Method, not just ingridient
Post by Richard Tanzer on Jul 1st, 2004, 8:12pm
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

Title: Re: Patent for recipe (Method, not just ingridient
Post by Steve_R on Jul 7th, 2004, 7:30pm
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.

Title: Re: Patent for recipe (Method, not just ingridient
Post by Tony on Sep 16th, 2004, 1:18am
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.

Title: Re: Patent for recipe (Method, not just ingridient
Post by JSonnabend on Sep 16th, 2004, 7:26am
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

Title: Re: Patent for recipe (Method, not just ingridient
Post by John R on Oct 12th, 2004, 4:58pm
Hi,
I am working at a law firm and we never had one claim of
food related copyright claim. :)
Even in out old database.
anyways
if you make it smells good  and it taste good, "they will come".

John R
Http://www.workdegree.com

Title: Re: Patent for recipe (Method, not just ingridient
Post by nathan mckenzie on Jan 23rd, 2006, 2:26pm
hello,

i have a tea recipe that i would like to bottle and sell to local stores.  what steps would i have to make this successful and protect myself from competitors?  thank you in advance.

Title: Re: Patent for recipe (Method, not just ingridient
Post by Wiscagent on Jan 23rd, 2006, 5:34pm
Develop some brand names, product names and graphics.  Find a source of bottles.  Make some tea.  Test various combinations of the names / graphics / bottles / drinks among some potential customers.  

Pick out the top two or three brand names. Conduct a trademark search for those brands.  Pick a unique brand name.  Register your trademark.

Print up labels.  Brew.  Bottle.  Sell.

Good luck!

Title: Re: Patent for recipe (Method, not just ingridient
Post by MARISOL FLORES on Jul 7th, 2006, 2:26pm
OK...IM NOT SURE HOW DUMB THESE QUESTIONS MAY SOUND, BUT I NEED ANSWERS AND THIS SITE SEEMED OF BEST FIT. I HAVE A RECIPE FOR AN EGGNOG THAT CONTAINS LIQOUR, AND I WOULD LIKE TO BOTTLE AND SELL THEM. I HAVE A NAME FOR MY DRINK AS WELL...HOW CAN I GO ABOUT STARTING A BUSINESS OUT OF THIS? IS TRADEMARKING MY NAME ENOUGH? IS IT ILLEGAL TO SELL BECAUSE IT CONTAINS ALCOHOL? CAN I PATENT THE RECIPE? DO I NEED A LIQOUR LICENSE? AND LAST QUESTION, PROMISE ...I DID NOT CREATE THE RECIPE, BUT ADDED ADDITIONAL INGREDIANTS AND MADE IT MY OWN, CAN I STILL PATENT THIS?

Title: Re: Patent for recipe (Method, not just ingridient
Post by CriterionD on Jul 8th, 2006, 5:10pm

on 07/07/06 at 14:26:11, MARISOL FLORES wrote:
I DID NOT CREATE THE RECIPE, BUT ADDED ADDITIONAL INGREDIANTS AND MADE IT MY OWN, CAN I STILL PATENT THIS?


You could likely acheive patent protection on aspects of your improved recipe which would be considered novel and "non-obvious." Elaboration can be found above your post within this thread.  Of course, patents cost a lot of money to obtain and maintain, and depending on various factors you could  actually be better off simply trying to keep the recipe secret

 
on 07/07/06 at 14:26:11, MARISOL FLORES wrote:
IS TRADEMARKING MY NAME ENOUGH?


Creating a unique brand identity could help you market your product.  A trademark registration could help you establish meaningful protection for your brand's identity, but is not necessarily required in order to claim trademark rights.


on 07/07/06 at 14:26:11, MARISOL FLORES wrote:
ENOUGH? IS IT ILLEGAL TO SELL BECAUSE IT CONTAINS ALCOHOL? CAN I PATENT THE RECIPE? DO I NEED A LIQOUR LICENSE?


How much alcohol does it contain?  Are you going to be selling the drink at your own restaurant or bar?  Are you going to be selling it to little kids?   In any event, this is getting beyond the scope of this board, and regulations on liquor sales tend to differ from state to state.  


Title: Re: Patent for recipe (Method, not just ingridient
Post by Lori Tolle on Jul 17th, 2006, 5:28pm
Hi, i have a question...i have made a salsa recipe and im currious about how i would i get a patent on my recipe...i am really wanting to get the patent and then go around to companies and then try and sell my recipe...i know it would be a hit in the salsa industry because everyone who tastes it is automatically addicted...but i cant make it fast enough for demand..i would also like a price range on the cheapest route i could take in this matter

Title: Re: Patent for recipe (Method, not just ingridient
Post by GuestB on Aug 12th, 2006, 5:15pm
Any more input from the experts on patenting recipes?  If all the ingredients used in a food product have been used in other products before (though not in a claimed combination), what would be required to show non-obviousness?  Would unexpected results of some sort be required or commercial success?  
Thanks for any input!

Title: Re: Patent for recipe (Method, not just ingridient
Post by missmkt on Nov 30th, 2006, 11:33am
Hi Everyone,

I made a lemonade drink, using standard frozen lemonade (like minute maid) and added another 'secret' ingredient    to make this amazing drink.  I have an idea to print my recipe on a bottle and sell it as a 'mixer', which of course can be mixed with alcohol or made virgin.

I have a trade name and lable design for marketing, there is no other mixer or ready made drink similar to it on the market.  Do I seek patent or simply use the copyright & trade marks?  

Additionally I have been thinking about making an NDA (nondisclosures) and require signatures to even get assistance from bottlers, etc. to help protect my idea so nobody steels or otherwise copy's my idea & beats me to the market.

Thoughts?

Thanks!

Title: Re: Patent for recipe (Method, not just ingridient
Post by Isaac on Nov 30th, 2006, 2:45pm

on 11/30/06 at 11:33:38, missmkt wrote:
Additionally I have been thinking about making an NDA (nondisclosures) and require signatures to even get assistance from bottlers, etc. to help protect my idea so nobody steels or otherwise copy's my idea & beats me to the market.


Am I going to be able to tell what the secret ingredient is by tasting/analyzing the drink?  If so, an NDA probably isn't going to be all that helpful...


Title: Re: Patent for recipe (Method, not just ingridient
Post by missmkt on Dec 1st, 2006, 7:01pm
Ok, so how do I begin with such an idea?  I don't even know how to make a drink to be consumer ready.  The trademark name and label design is pretty easy.  It everything else that I don't even know where to begin.  Any suggestions?

Title: Patent/copyright/trademark for a recipe
Post by Brandie Salierno on Dec 14th, 2006, 10:59am
Hi!   I have a trail mix recipe where I use a specific name brand cereal in it; how do I go about copyrighting/patenting/trademarking or whatever I need to do with this recipe so I can begin selling it without getting in trouble with the cereal company?  Also; after a label and packaging is figured out (as well as the copyrighting (or whatever I would have to do)); what is the next step to getting it out there... do I just go to a store and ask them to buy it?  Doesn't a board of a retailer make those decisons?  Sorry for all the questions... I have looked everywhere on the internet; but cannot seem to find out all of these questions.  Have a wonderful day and thank-you for your time!

Title: Re: Patent for recipe (Method, not just ingridient
Post by youngandsuccessful on Jan 21st, 2007, 1:16pm
I am actually starting my own cooking show.  I am inquiring how I should handle showing original recipes that I created to the public without the risk of them being stolen?  I know that I can generalize a lot of the ingredients but some has to be known for the recipe to be successful.  I am working on a low budget so I cannot afford to pay $10,000 for a patent.  Is there some other way to protect myself with my recipes?  Maybe some sort of copyright?

Title: Re: Patent for recipe (Method, not just ingridient
Post by Rocio Medina on Jan 23rd, 2007, 4:04pm
Ok, I have a couple questions.  My family owns several restaruants, in which they specialize in selling chicken.  Are they able to patent their recipes? or is their only hope to keep the recie a secret and pray no one every finds it?  How do the large companies such as KFC, and Popeyes go about it?

Title: Re: Patent for recipe (Method, not just ingridient
Post by CriterionD on Jan 23rd, 2007, 4:39pm

on 01/23/07 at 16:04:54, Rocio Medina wrote:
How do the large companies such as KFC, and Popeyes go about it?


Well KFC commonly advertises the "colonel's secret recipe."  If it was patented, it wouldn't be secret.  This has worked well for them, not only have they done a good job of keeping the "recipe" secret, but they are able to use it to enhance their marketing efforts.

KFC does hold a few patents though as well

link (http://www.google.com/patents?q=inassignee%3Akfc+chicken&btnG=Search+patents)

As far as what works best for your family?  It depends on the exact circumstances, and there's no one right answer necessarily

Title: Re: Patent for recipe (Method, not just ingridient
Post by Paul Gilkerson on Feb 5th, 2007, 10:55pm
Like the other posts, have a recipe for a dip that has never failed to please.  My concern is that the ingredients involved are products made by large companies.  Would I face a potential problem if I sold the combination of these products (the recipe) under my own label?  What could be a way around this problem?  Thanks!

Title: Re: Patent for recipe (Method, not just ingridient
Post by stillstudying on Mar 22nd, 2007, 4:40pm

on 01/23/07 at 16:39:32, CriterionD wrote:
Well KFC commonly advertises the "colonel's secret recipe."  If it was patented, it wouldn't be secret.  This has worked well for them, not only have they done a good job of keeping the "recipe" secret, but they are able to use it to enhance their marketing efforts.

To quote Neal Stephenson (from "The Diamond Age"):
"The House of the Venerable and Inscrutable Colonel was what they called it when they were speaking Chinese. Venerable because of his goatee, white as the dogwood blossom, a badge of unimpeachable credibility in Confucian eyes. Inscrutable because he has gone to his grave without divulging the Secret of the Eleven Herbs and Spices."  ;D



Title: Re: Patent for recipe (Method, not just ingridient
Post by stillstudying on Mar 22nd, 2007, 5:07pm
Regarding the patentability of recipes, at the USPTO inventor's conference last September, one of the snippets mentioned in one of the breakout sessions I went to was about a major cookie company (might have been Archway -- they seem to turn up frequently on Google when I look for "patent cookies molasses") losing its attempt to get a patent on the use of molasses as a softening ingredient in cookies.  The examiner turned up a recipe from about a hundred years ago which noted that by using molasses in a cookie recipe, the cookies remained soft long after baking.

IIRC, the presenter pointed this case out to highlight the proper use of trade secrets -- the point being that the company's competitors probably wouldn't have figured out that the company's soft cookies were staying soft because of the molasses in the recipe, since it would be difficult to analyze what was preventing hardening -- but that since patent applications were public after 18 months, the company publicized the (little-known) "secret", thereby blowing their competitive advantage.

One of my hobbies is cooking, and there are a lot of small details in preparation or ingredient selection which cause major differences in the final product.  Use of copper bowls for beating fluffy meringues, butter vs. margarine resulting in different crispiness of cookies, and so on ad infinitum.

If someone is teaching, or is publishing recipes, I don't really understand why that someone would want to get a patent on the process or recipe -- that would seem to defeat the purpose of instruction.  If producing finished consumer foods, I can see the point -- but given that experimentation in cooking techniques is such a thoroughly mined subject area, unless you've really hit on something unique, there are hundreds of years of cookbooks that can be used against you as prior art.

Title: Re: Patent for recipe (Method, not just ingridient
Post by Naphtali on Apr 17th, 2007, 10:19pm
Is a hair care product patentable that consists of all natural ingredients?  The use of these ingredients for the purpose proposed has not been displayed before.  Also, is this patentable if it has been used prior in another country (the ingredients not stated though)? Or, is the best path to keep the formulation as a trade secret?

Title: Re: Patent for recipe (Method, not just ingridient
Post by Daniel Lones on Nov 12th, 2007, 1:57pm
I have a salsa recipe thats been in my family for years I have made a few changes to it and everyone I have given a jar to has told me I should sell it.( I have been making it for about 10 years now.)My ? to you is will I Have to get a patent or copyright it and how much it would cost.  Iam really interested in finding a company to sell the recipe to. THANKS DANNY



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