Can I copyright a recipe? 1 Answers as of September 16, 2010

Can I copyright a recipe that I use at my restaurant? If so, how?

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Mark S. Hubert PC
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In general, no you cannot. The US Copyright Office has a very informative website, where the answers to most questions can be located. The frequently asked question section is particularly helpful.

How do I protect my recipe? A mere listing of ingredients is not protected under copyright law. However, where a recipe or formula is accompanied by substantial literary expression in the form of an explanation or directions, or when there is a collection of recipes as in a cookbook, there may be a basis for copyright protection. Note that if you have secret ingredients to a recipe that you do not wish to be revealed, you should not submit your recipe for registration, because applications and deposit copies are public records. See FL 122, Recipes.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 9/16/2010
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