how to cook

Are Recipes Trademarked? A Comprehensive Guide For Homecooks In 2023

DIET DESSERTZ 💖 on Instagram “ 💖 swipe 4 recipe 💖 brownie brittle from As the food industry continues to grow...

Written by Margareth Issiah · 2 min read >
DIET DESSERTZ 💖 on Instagram “ 💖 swipe 4 recipe 💖 brownie brittle from

As the food industry continues to grow exponentially, questions about trademarks and copyright law are becoming more and more common. Depending on your situation, you may be wondering if you can trademark a recipe – and the answer is not as straightforward as you may think. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll take a closer look at the complexities and nuances of trademarking a recipe.

What Is a Trademark?

Before we dive into the specifics of trademarking a recipe, let’s talk about trademarks in general. A trademark is a type of intellectual property that is used to protect a brand or company’s name, logo, slogan, or other distinguishing marks. According to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, a trademark is “any word, name, symbol, or device, or any combination, used, or intended to be used, in commerce to identify and distinguish the goods of one manufacturer or seller from goods manufactured or sold by others, and to indicate the source of the goods.”

In other words, a trademark is a way for customers to easily identify a company’s goods and services. It’s also a way for companies to protect their brand and ensure that their products are not confused with similar products from another company.

Do Recipes Qualify for Trademark Protection?

Now that we know a little bit more about trademarks, let’s answer the burning question: do recipes qualify for trademark protection? The answer is yes – but only under certain circumstances. According to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, a recipe can be eligible for trademark protection if it meets the following criteria:

  • The recipe must be unique and not a standard recipe used by many cooks.
  • The recipe must be used in the sale of goods or services.
  • The recipe must be non-functional. In other words, it must not describe the use of ingredients, cooking techniques, or other functional aspects of the recipe.

If your recipe meets all of these criteria, you can apply for a trademark through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

What Are the Benefits of Trademarking a Recipe?

If your recipe is eligible for trademark protection, you may be wondering what the benefits are. Trademarking a recipe can provide you with several key benefits, including:

  • Legal protection from infringement.
  • The ability to license the recipe to other parties.
  • The ability to market the recipe as a brand.
  • The ability to collect royalties on the sale of the recipe.

In addition to these benefits, trademarking a recipe can also help you to establish a loyal customer base and can help to differentiate your recipe from similar recipes.

How Do I Trademark a Recipe?

If you’ve determined that your recipe is eligible for trademark protection, you’ll need to register it with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The process is relatively simple, and you can find all of the information you need on the USPTO website. You’ll need to provide details about your recipe, including the title, a description of the recipe, and the date it was first used in commerce. You’ll also need to provide a specimen of the recipe (such as a printout or photograph) and pay the filing fee.

Protecting Your Recipe

Once you’ve registered your recipe with the USPTO, you’ll need to take steps to protect it. The best way to do this is to use the trademark symbol (™) whenever you use the recipe in commerce. You should also put a copyright notice on all of your recipes, and you should be diligent in monitoring your recipe for infringement. If you find that someone has infringed on your trademarked recipe, you should act quickly to protect your rights.

The Bottom Line

At the end of the day, trademarking a recipe can be a great way to protect your brand and differentiate your recipe from others. However, it’s important to remember that not all recipes are eligible for trademark protection – and even if your recipe is eligible, it’s important to take steps to protect your rights.

So, if you’re wondering “are recipes trademarked?” the answer is yes – but only under certain circumstances. If you think your recipe may qualify for trademark protection, it’s important to do your research and talk to a trademark attorney. As the saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” – and in this case, you’ll definitely want to be prepared.

And remember:

Cooking is a labor of love,
But make sure you’re serving up something smooth.
Trademark your recipes when it’s time,
Protect your rights, don’t let them decline.

(lyrics adapted from “Labor of Love” by Kenny Loggins)

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: