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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 41221
Experience:  I assist my clients with IP questions that arise in their daily course of doing business.
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I found an excellent protein powder shake mix produced by an

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I found an excellent protein powder shake mix produced by an online nutritional supplement manufacturer. I can make a tasty desert out of it with a slight reformulation.

The manufacturer said they will custom mix and private label to my specifications if the volume is sufficient. They provide such services for existing customers however they do have a serious online retail presence.

Q: How can I best protect my idea and protect myself from them selling my desert product reformulation to a competitor or having them compete against me using my idea?
Trade mark my desert recipe? Or must I just keep margins super low so that no one can beat my price?
Thx.

Thank you for your question. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns.

To answer your question directly, a recipe cannot be trademarked or otherwise protected other than via a 'trade secret', meaning that you simply do not tell others how it was made. For example Coca-Cola and Pepsi are both covered under trade secrets, so if anyone does decide to make an exact copy, neither company could pursue that person unless their formula could be proven to have been stolen.

As a consequence, the best way for you to protect your recipe is to not share the formula with others. Beyond that you really cannot obtain protection, and yes, maintaining low margins coupled with being the first in the market should hopefully assist as well.

Good luck.

Dimitry K., Esq. and other Intellectual Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks. How about requesting a non compete agreement from them before giving them my trade secret? Any other ideas?

Scott,

If you are discussing means of protecting it from the company and not the general public, a non-compete is a must. The other limitation should be a non-solicitation clause as well, and a confidentiality agreement. That is really all you can do, however, toward protecting your idea.

Good luck.

Dimitry K., Esq. and other Intellectual Property Law Specialists are ready to help you

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