Intellectual Property Protection for Secret Recipes

Copyright, Craft Brewing, Intellectual Property, Restaurants, Trademark
As a Phoenix business lawyer that represents more than a few clients in the food industry, I'm often asked by restauranteurs, craft brewers, and aspiring sauce/dressing tycoons how to best protect their secret recipe for...well, you name it.  As with most things in the law, the answer is rarely one-size-fits-all and depends on a variety of factors and the client's objectives and business strategy.  This article summarizes a few of the most common questions I'm asked on the subject, as well as my general answers: Why not patent my recipe? Patent laws are commonly used to protect inventions and processes and usually are not the best approach for protecting your secret recipe. First off, as there are really only so many ways you can formulate spaghetti sauce or brew a…
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Ill-Fated: Trademark Tips for Businesses Owners from the Fate Brewing Co. Dispute

Lanham Act, Restaurants, Trademark, Trademark Infringement, Unfair Competition
With craft brew festival season getting into full swing across the country, I thought it'd be fun to revisit the legal trademark saga between a Valley craft brewery, formerly known as Fate Brewing Company, now known as "McFate Brewing Company" (which we'll just call "McFate" for clarity's sake) and the Fate Brewing Company based in Boulder, Colorado (which we'll call "Fate Colorado"). For those unfamiliar, it might be helpful to recap the timeline of events: Summer 2012 - Fate Colorado initially applies for a Federal trademark registration with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for the mark "FATE BREWING COMPANY" August 2012 - McFate sends cease and desist letter to Fate Colorado. November 2012 - Fate Colorado's USPTO application is published for opposition. Winter 2012 - McFate opens its first brewpub…
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