The food and beverage industry is brimming with innovations. Whether it is concocting an interesting cocktail or devising a molecular gastronomy based dessert, new dishes and beverages are emerging on a regular basis. Essentially, these food items are newly invented recipes or innovations.
Every inventor wants to protect their creation from infringement. Since the recipe could be one of a kind, you may want to patent it. But, can you patent a recipe?
As experienced patent agents and lawyers in Edmonton, we see many inventors struggling with a question - Whether or not the invention is patentable? Whatever the invention, software, food item, or technology, patentability remains a complicated subject.
Canadian Patent Law allows any machine, product, composition or process to be patented. Food and recipes could be classified as a composition and are, therefore, considered to be patentable. However, this is not enough to qualify as a patentable subject matter. As Patent Agents and Lawyers in Edmonton, we have consulted with clients on such matters. Here are three questions that you must answer when considering whether or not your innovation is patentable.
Is Your Recipe Novel?
If your recipe is ‘delectable butter tarts’, it may not be patentable as there may be several such versions available in the market. To qualify for a patent registration, your recipe must be new and unheard of. Unless you found or invented a new food, the novelty aspect could be difficult to show. For example, if you have formulated a different sauce, it could be difficult to prove its uniqueness when compared with other available sauces. Describing the recipe at a molecular level could be helpful here. Instead of focusing on how ingredients make the recipe better, point out the molecular differences. This may give you an advantage during the registration process.
Is It Non-Obvious?
For an invention to be patentable, it must be non-obvious. Non-obviousness states that the invention must be beyond the prediction of experts in the field. Whether your recipe is entirely novel or an improvement over of an existing dish, it must not be trivial or a routine enhancement. It must be beyond the imagination of gourmet and culinary experts. Explaining the non-obviousness of a recipe can be complex. One of the reasons for this is that some things are quite common in the food industry. Different flavors can be created using a number of different know methods. Most chefs will be able to tell you how to make something sweet without using sugar, how to make something bitter or give it a particular fragrance or taste. Consulting a patent agent or lawyer in Edmonton can be helpful.
Is Your Recipe Useful?
Functionality or utility is an important aspect of any invention. The Canadian Patent Office will not clear applications that have no utility aspect to it. For example, if your recipe is a weird preparation that is not edible or cannot enhance any other dishes, then it may not be patented. Most deficiencies in the usefulness requirement occur because of inadequate disclosure. In the case of recipes, inventors must disclose to the public how to make and use the invention without undue experimentation. The invention must be such that it can be reproduced by someone with ordinary skills in the art.
Consult with a Patent Agent or Lawyer
Analyzing patentability and drafting an application are crucial steps in obtaining patents. Seeking the guidance of a reliable patent agent or lawyer is highly recommended. If you want to patent a recipe or any invention, connect with our team of professionals and we will help guide you through the process.