Can you patent a recipe?



  1. 0 Votes

    Yes, here’s how:

    • Research the recipe. Before you start dealing the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, do as much research about your recipe as possible to determine if a patent has already been granted for your recipe (see Resources). Chances are, however, that this won’t be the case if your recipe is truly original. Start at your local library. Look through cookbooks printed in the past 20 years. (A patent lasts 20 years.) Online searches for recipes will also give you insight as to what’s out there. Be proactive.
    • Contact a patent lawyer. Unless you are thoroughly familiar with patent and trademark laws and how to present a strong patent to the government, contact an patent lawyer. Expect to pay a retainer of at least $1,000. An attorney will help you understand the complexity of the patent application and advise you if your recipe is patentable. Your lawyer will also file your paperwork with the federal office on your behalf.
    • Write your patent down. A recipe usually calls for a Utility Patent, which protects inventions created through a production process. Create a rough draft of your recipe. Pay close attention to detail and any secret ingredients that make your recipe original. When you’ve completed the rough draft, transfer the final version to word processing software and print a few copies. Keep all copies in a safe place until your attorney requests them. Save your original file on a disk. If you are unsure how to write out your recipe, ask your attorney for help.
    • Complete the application paperwork. With the help of your attorney, be sure to complete all declaration documents, data reports and transmittal pages. Work closely with your lawyer, who will guide you through the process. If your attorney doesn’t already have the application forms for you, contact the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to obtain them.
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