Q: How can I protect a new recipe I have come up with for barbeque sauce? It is really good.
A: The best way to protect a recipie would, in theory, be through a patent. However, this could be difficult for two reasons. First, "non-obviousneess" is required for a patent, and the Patent Office may consider your ingredients to be "obvious," and hence unpatentable. Second, in considering patent protection, you have to think about whether you would be able to detect infringers. As a practical matter, how would you know if someone else's sauce used your recipe. Most people would stick to trademark and/or trade secret protection to protect a barbeque sauce. Consult with a good IP attorney
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A: I would agree with the prior answer. A trademark is what you need to use. The product will sell by name once it gets established. People don't really check in detail for what's in A-1, Maul's or Masterpiece, Sweet Baby Ray's or Bob's Country Sauce. They order it by name once they decide they like the flavor. I have had several sauce clients and never recommended a patent since, to have any chance of getting it through the patent office, it would have to be so narrowly drawn as to be super simple to avoid and thus serve only to describe in great deal the secret sauce recipe. That is, a patent is a bad deal for a BBQ sauce manufacturer, unless it relates to special non-obvious new equipment or manufacturing methods the use of which by others could easily be detected so that infringement could be discovered.
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