Maker of unique cheese seeks to bend copyright law

When someone in New York gets a great idea for a product or work of art, he or she may investigate ways to make the idea lucrative. This includes protecting it from those who may want to use it for their own benefit. However, not everything can be protected by copyright law. Ideas, names, phrases and things that are commonly known cannot be copyrighted, nor can titles or recipes. However, U.S. chefs are wondering how an international decision may affect the food industry in this country.

A Dutch company wants to copyright the flavor of its most popular and unique cheese. In the United States, a chef may not gain copyright protection for a single recipe or list of ingredients. However, if he or she uses a certain method for creating the dish, that method may be copyrighted. Chefs often have signature dishes that they feel incorporate more than just a list of ingredients. However, in the world of instant information, the dish can quickly move beyond the control of the individual chef.

Foodie culture is more mainstream than in past decades. Social media and cable TV shows open possibilities for the average cook in the home kitchen. What a chef sees as his or her art can quickly show up in the grocery store freezer aisle. These factors may add to the already complex laws governing the copyright protections in the world of food preparation.

Whether the foreign courts approve the copyright of the unique flavor of the cheese, U.S. copyright laws may not comply so quickly. Nevertheless, copyright law in this country changes and adapts quickly, and this can be confusing for an artist, musician, chef or other creative person. Seeking clarification and support during copyright disputes is a wise move, and this may include the advice of a skilled New York intellectual property attorney.

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