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2 Ways to Protect a Recipe

There are really two ways to protect a recipe. How to protect a recipe depends on how you’re using it and what exactly you want to protect. Are you a food or lifestyle blogger wanting to protect your creative content? Are you an essential oils guru, wanting to protect recipes you’ve developed? Or are you more of a chef that wants to protect a secret recipe? This post will guide you through a quick and easy explanation.

Ways to Protect a Recipe as a Blogger

So the first example, you know, maybe you have a lifestyle blog or a food blog, and you’re publishing recipes, and maybe some mouthwatering photos to go with those recipes online.

Copyright doesn’t extend to lists of ingredients. Lists of ingredients don’t really qualify as a creative work. Recipes are kind of instructional and instructions are functional.

So is anything protectable? Yes. What’s protectable is a photo, an anecdote or a story of maybe how you came up with the recipe, the prose and the text around the recipe, all of those things that make your blog unique and beautiful. The things that make it more than just a list of instructions.

If you are a blogger maybe that falls into this category, you might think about establishing some kind of copyright regimen, and registering those blog posts with the photographs, so long as you own all of that content.

Ways to Protect a Secret Recipe

If you have a secret recipe, then you’re probably thinking more along the lines of trade secret. Now, what is a trade secret? It is a valuable secret that gets its value because it gives you some kind of competitive advantage.

So how do you protect a trade secret? Well, make sure it stays secret. Make sure that it only falls into the hands of those who need to know and make sure those people sign an NDA — Non-Disclosure Agreement. And one kind of famous example of trade secret protection is KFC, their herbs and spices, right. So, allegedly half of the blend is mixed at one facility, half of the blend is mixed at another facility, and neither facility knows what’s in the other’s recipe.

You don’t have to register a trade secret anywhere in order for it to qualify for protection, you just kind of have to take those protective measures.

Maybe you’re not mixing things at two different facilities, but maybe you’re password-protecting, you know, any files that contain the recipe.

I hope that helps when it comes to understanding ways to protect a recipe.