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Patent a Recipe or Cooking Process

Patent a Recipe
Kandarp Vanita
| Updated: May 06, 2021 | Category: Patent

Food is the most essential and important part in our life. Most of us are following a pattern to prepare a dish but there are always people who love to experiment and make their own recipe or cooking process and try out something new. This is one of the questions that are always in the mind of every incredible food producer.

If you want to obtain a patent on the recipe or cooking process then it is quite possible. But this is subject to few limitations and criterion that needs to be fulfilled to patent a recipe procedure. Continue reading this article to know the details to patent a recipe or cooking process.

What is the benefit of Patenting?

A patent is the legal right given by the government to the applicant for his invention of a new product or a process. Patent is a territorial right which means that a patent obtained in India is restricted to the India’s boundaries. Patent registration protects the intellectual property rights for the period of 20 years. In this time duration, no one else is permitted to manufacture the product or copy or replicate the patented technology. Anyone using the invention shall have to pay the royalties to the owner or the patent holder for using their product or the method. And only after 20 years, the product, process or technology goes public.

To patent a recipe

Few things to remember to patent a recipe is that the food recipe that requires patents shall be new, unique, and must not be similar to the existing foods.

You cannot seek a patent for the recipe that is already present for many years in the market.

Write the patent claims so that the parameter shall be as huge as reasonable. 

Upon enlightening the patent to the public, then there are 365 days left in receiving a patent on the recipe.

Laws and Regulations

  • There is an existing law in India that particularly defines and gives a clear picture with respect to the patent.
  • The Patent Amendment Act 2005[1] has a clear the justification of existing food recipes or the process of food making process that cannot be patented.
  • There is a list of pre existing conditions that should be adhered to obtain a patent on the food recipe. 

Therefore, there is certainly a possibility of obtaining a patent for a particular recipe but it is extremely important to follow the guidelines for the same.

Major Components to Patent a Recipe

Components to Patent a Recipe

In general, any recipe or any food formula has two major elements. To patent a recipe, the ingredients may come under the category in the title of composition or the texture. The method for preparing the recipe comes in the category of process.

1. Ingredients

Every recipe is prepared by using different ingredients with definite compositions. You will be capable to patent a recipe formula only when the composition is non-obvious and unique of the present foods.

Example: For example, if you want a patent a recipe of coffee. Then the quantity of sugar, the kind of coffee beans, the proportion and amount of ingredients shall be taken into consideration.

2. Preparation procedure

The process category includes the method of preparing and making food. The process shall include methods like baking, frying, heating, grilling, cutting, soaking, layering , melting and blanching, , and many more. 

Example: in the coffee example, after choosing the particular and unique ingredients. The time for grinding the coffee beans, the kind of machine used, the melting methods of sugar operates as the reference.

3. Patented Food Examples

Below are few of the famous patented food products. They are:    

  • Kellogg’s products 
  • Nestle products 
  • Specific tiffins 
  • Tomato ketchup 
  • Unilever products 
  • Florastor 
  • Certain limited fruits and vegetables 
  • Various probiotics, and more.

Important details while applying for a patent on food recipe

According to the Indian Patent Office:

  • The invention must involve the inventive step. 
  • Its novelty should refer that it has not been published in India or anywhere else.
  • It must not be claimed in any condition or specification in India.

The people looking to patent a recipe, a specific characteristic to take care relates to an inventive step. The Indian Patent Office says that the inventive step shall be one that makes the invention not so obvious to the person skilled in the art.

The applicant trying to patent any food recipe also shall make sure that he is not violating the Section 3(e) of the Indian Patent Act, 1970. Furthermore, the section specifies that the following shall not be patented:

Any substance obtained by admixture and resulting in the aggregate of the properties of all the components or it includes any process for producing such substances. This signifies that a process or product which is just mixing the ingredients and producing a very obvious result cannot be patented.


The answer to patent a recipe is YES. Any person can get a patent for food recipe or cooking process as they have a patentable subject matter. Incredible recipes can be possessed by anyone inventing it with a new process or product. Therefore, the process should be inventive to obtain the patent protection for a food recipe.

Read our article:An Overview of Patent Term Extension

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Kandarp Vanita

Kandarp Vanita has done masters in Corporate and Commercial Law from WB National University of Juridical Sciences. She has 3 yrs of experience in drafting legal documents & dissertations. Being a curious reader, she is also passionately into providing legal backups and comprehensive understandings in every aspect of Law to the firms.

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