Intellectual Property Law
Intellectual Property Law Questions? Ask a Lawyer
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.
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.
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