Answered on Sep 10th, 2013 at 6:40 AM
In order to be patentable, the invention must be new, useful, and not obvious. Recipes are indeed patentable subject matter and protectable either by defining a new and useful process or as a composition of matter. One way to overcome an obviousness rejection is to demonstrate to the Patent Examiner that there are certain aspects of the recipe that are counter-intuitive. So if you are going to try and patent a recipe ask yourself are there any process steps that are unique, or even bizarre. One disadvantage with trying to Patent the recipe is that the inventor must make a full disclosure of the recipe including the ingredients and the process for making the product. If the Patent does not issue, there is the risk that the recipe will be disclosed to the public if the Patent Application is published. Another option that should be considered is to keep the recipe a trade secret. The recipe for Coca-Cola was kept a trade secret for over 100 years. However, the company must go to extraordinary lengths to keep the recipe secret even from its own employees. It is advised that you seek the advice of counsel on this matter to determine the best way for you to go forward.