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Copyright protects your written recipe / artwork from being copied

The document detailing your recipe is automatically protected worldwide by copyright; as is any artwork that you may create and apply to your packaging or marketing material.

Copyright is free and need not be "registered". To get copyright worldwide you have to do absolutely … nothing.


Copyright does not prevent other "redeveloping" your foodstuff

To enforce copyright, you need to prove "copying". If your competitor merely "redeveloped" a similar recipe or artwork without "copying" your recipe list or artwork, you will have no action against the competitor under copyright law. That is why large food companies typically trademark their artwork and patent or design register their new foodstuff and packaging.

For instance, in 1990, Virgin analysed samples of Coca‐Cola and tried to create its own imitation drink, which it called "Virgin Cola". Virgin Cola tastes very similar to Coca‐Cola. It may even include the same ingredients and be made using the same method as Coca‐Cola. However, since Virgin did not "copy" the Coke recipe list or artwork, Coke cannot take action against Virgin under copyright law. The same went for Pepsi Cola, Rally Cola, Wegmans Cola, No-Name Cola, …

Tip: Add the following to your packaging and marketing material:

You don't "need" to add this text, but it does communicate to potential copycats that the work is owned by you and covered by copyright.

Depending on the country, copyright typically lasts for 50 to 95 years.

Pasta sauce Design Pending Starbucks Coffee Patent Pending Sausage Design Pending Bettys Frosting Patent Pending

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