FACT: A recipe is not copyrightable
FACT: A cookbook is copyrightable
What does this mean? It means that while a recipe itself (ie the mere listing of ingredients) is not protectable by copyright, other original elements embodied in a cookbook can be protected by copyright registration. For example: the selection of recipes, layout, descriptions, illustrations, cover artwork, explanations and accompanying text are all elements of a cookbook that can be protected by copyright registration.
Most cookbooks contain a substantial amount of content that can be protected by copyright, even though the actual listing of ingredients is not copyrightable.
IN SUMMARY: register cookbooks for copyright protection… and keep secret ingredients…secret.
BY: Vanessa Kaster, Esq., LL.M.
For personalized legal services you are welcome to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
for more from the US Copyright Office on recipes and cookbooks –>http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl122.html and for more on how to register your cookbook for copyright registration for $35 –> https://iplegalfreebies.wordpress.com/category/copyright-for-35/. @iplegalfreebies and www.kasterlegal.com.