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Protecting a chef’s secret recipe


Sean Ibbetson

Protecting a chef’s secret recipe

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A precise method and list of ingredients, and no sharing of the details with others are necessary precautions when maintaining a recipe’s secrecy, says Sean Ibbetson of Bristows.

With the UK’s Wednesday night TV viewing switching seamlessly from the final of cookery show “The Great British Bake Off” to the new series of Alan Sugar’s hunt for his next business partner on “The Apprentice”, some people’s thoughts will possibly be dominated by considerations of how a chef could rely on the law of confidence to protect his or her recipe as a trade secret.

For starters (pardon the pun), demonstrating one’s recipe by cooking it on a TV programme will almost certainly destroy any chance of protecting it as a trade secret.

To be protected, the law requires the information (in this case, the recipe) to be kept confidential. This does not require the information to be known only to one person, but if the information is imparted to another person this must be done in circumstances which import an obligation of confidence, through a non-disclosure agreement with a licensee, for example.

Sean Ibbetson, Bristows, chef, GBBO, The Great British Bake Off, trade secret, The Apprentice, Alan Sugar,


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