11 Apr 2021 - News
Can I patent a recipe for a dish?
There are no explicit exclusions for patenting a food recipe. To be recognised as such, an invention must meet patentability criteria, and this applies to a recipe as it would to any other invention.
Firstly, the invention must resolve a technical problem. Therefore, a particular taste or a lighter finished product is not enough. The recipe must provide a result which, for example thanks to a specific combination of elements, guarantees a lower caloric intake, or an increase in digestibility thanks to particular additives.
Moreover, the requirements are mainly related to a) novelty, meaning the recipe must not yet have been made available to the public in written or oral form in Italy and abroad; b) inventive activity, in this case the recipe, must not be obvious and not be evident from the state of the art for those skilled in the same; c) industriality, meaning that the recipe must be achievable and reproducible or usable in any kind of industry, including agriculture.
The recipe can be protected both as a preparation process and as a final product.
The invention patent in the food sector applies to innovative foods, innovative ingredients and additives, functional foods, foods for special consumers (coeliacs, diabetics, allergies, food intolerances, etc.), but also to new food and food packaging preparation and storage methods.
It may also be possible to protect the appearance of the product and/or its packaging through the design, or the name of the product through a trademark. Copyright may also provide protection against the unauthorised reproduction of the text of a gastronomic recipe, but it must be an elaborate recipe and not a simple list of ingredients and procedural steps.