Cooking up Copyright – (cookbooks and recipes) 3

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.

vk@kasterlegal.com

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.

3 comments

  1. If you have a collection of recipes from the 18th & 19th century; that can’t be found in any cookbooks. If the copyright laws don’t protect recipe books when the patent agencies tells you to copyright first; what does one do to protect this if they intend to sell as a product, because it’s one of a kind?

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