Copyrights to recipe

Joined Aug 19, 2003
What is the most secure way to copyright your original recipe or formula.

I have developed a Green Drink with superfood that would be the most nutrient rich drink on the market.

As I do not have a facility to roll out product, what resource is available to professionals that already has an existing facility where you can create the product including bottling and labelling.


Staff member
Joined Jun 11, 2001
You're better off with taking steps to keep it a trade secret.
Joined Jun 14, 2011
Copyrights are just going to make it easier for someone to copy your recipe. You'd spend more money suing over infringment than you would just keeping it secret.
Joined Feb 1, 2007
Recipes, per se, are not copyrightable in the first place. They are considered, under the law, to be lists, not intellectual property. So it's a moot point.

There are contract packagers all over the country who can do the job for you. Secrecy and client security is their by-word---revealing just one trade secret would put them out of business.

But there's more involved. This is a food product, which means there might be approvals required from government agencies; specific labeling requirements (including a list of ingredients), and other legalities---including liability questions.

So, if you're serious about this, your first step is to get a lawyer involved, so you know exactly what steps you have to take before rolling out the product.
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Staff member
Joined Oct 7, 2001
On top of what KYH said, you might have hoops to jump through if you are making the claim to being the "most nutrient rich drink on the market" and actually putting that in writing.  Depending on how you market it might have crossed the bridge from "food" product to "health" product.  Whatever you do, don't put this recipe out on the internet if you want to keep it a "secret."  As stated above, copyright is a tricky issue when it comes to recipes.  About the only thing it protects, in recipes, is from someone ripping you off by copying your entire recipe word for word.  Rephrase just slightly and there is no longer a copyright issue.  And copyright doesn't protect your list of ingredients and measurements.  Those don't fall under copyright laws.  That, at least, is my understanding of recipes and copyright.
Joined Feb 13, 2008
Free legal advice is seldom worth more than how much you pay for it.

Although I think I know what you're asking, your question about protecting the recipe is being misinterpreted as a question about publication.  Nevertheless as I understand it, the other posters are right.  Other than by keeping it secret, you can't protect your formula from anyone who cares to duplicate it.  Yes, that even includes someone cloning your drink in order to sell it.   

For instance, if you could deduce the formula for Coca Cola, you'd be free to make, bottle and market it without paying Coca Cola a cent.  Just as long as you didn't "confuse" purchasers by mentioning Coca Cola's name!  For instance, if you manufactured a cigarette which tasted some like a Coke, and called "Smoke-a-Cola," you'd probably be in trouble.

Get a consultation with a lawyer, who does substantial work in the "nutrition," food-production and start-up areas.  Your local bar association can probably give you referrals if you can't find an attorney on your own.

Good luck with your project,

Joined Feb 1, 2007
Hey! Welcome back. Where you been hiding?

One little quibble, cuz obviously we're telling the OP the same thing. "Cola" is a generic word, used in many soft drink names. So "Smoke-a-Cola" would probably be safe. "Smoke-a-Coke," on the other hand, would likely be an infringement.
Joined Mar 18, 2008
Depending on where you live there might be a place.  Sometimes some places make you do print a lot of labels.  An idea, where to get yours done is check out Jim Lieb here in Forest Grove, Oregon... They do ours (make preserves for us, and also I know they do Starbucks Iced tea line so its an idea?  I dont know how much they charge or if they will take it buts in an idea...  You might when you find out check out the facilities.  Also, you need to find a storage facility and also transportation who you going to sell it to? Does it need to be refrigerated? Or is it shelf stable?

Joined Jul 28, 2001

I had a buddy who did this same type of thing a few years. Not only do you need legal advice but you need to hire one with this expertise. There was so much involved. Almost everything he had to do opened him up. Some state manufacturing licenses require all handlers have ingredient lists on their property.

  After a long time he hired a laywer and decided to go ahead and sell the formula and negotiated royalties. I don't  know if that's the right correct term.

I don't know the details but my small investment cmae back 10 fold and he is v now into real estate purchasing and management.

I wish you the very best with this. Sounds exciting.  Let us know if your needing seed monies/img/vbsmilies/smilies/wink.gif


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