Various Intellectual Properties in The Food Industry

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Intellectual Property Protection can safeguard many things, from the foremost step of manufacturing, i.e., the production of ingredients and creation of recipes, to the last stages, such as labeling, marketing, and branding of the final product. So, how much IP can you find in a box of Pizza?

    A brand is the prime component of a food company, food product, or restaurant’s success. A trademark is a legally protected word, name, design, logo, or any other symbol of a product or business. For instance, ‘Pizza Hut’ is a trademarked product name. It means no one else can use the name ‘Pizza Hut’ to sell their pizza. A trademark can be obtained for a food product, dish name, logos, slogans, layout, décor, restaurant, and chef’s name.
    Copyright protection includes brochures, catalogs, website content, mobile applications, labels, and marketing materials. Copyright Law also protects software for managing business core processes in this industry. Such as software created for order-to-cash, planning and production, TPM, and global financials.
    Innovative packaging and the shape of the food product could be protected by Industrial Design. Protecting the aesthetic appearance of the packaging or product prevents third parties from copying and diminishing its distinctive impression.
    Not only for the (original) recipes but all new manufacturing processes, databases, client lists, and marketing strategies should also be treated as trade secrets. Consider limiting the number of people who can access such confidential information and keep a clear record of all business deals that may contain any of them.
    Food preparation processes may potentially be patentable if they are novel, useful, and not obvious. It may include manufacturing processes and apparatus, brewing/ fermenting, beverage cooling, distribution, and dispensing device.
    Geographic names are used to identify the products coming from the such origin when their quality is somehow linked to that origin.
    If you include one or more of your own developed or discovered plant varieties for your ingredients, you may register the plant variety and grant the breeder’s right for 20 to 25 years.

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