The following is a patent for Green Sweet Curry: https://www.google.com/patents/US20040151821

In a discussion with my roommates, I pointed out (in hindsight I guess incorrectly) that recipes are not patented but are protected by keeping them secret. I was surprised when my roommate countered by presenting me with the said link. It indeed seems like a recipe for Green Sweet Curry.

The question that I now have is: how will the owner defend the patent? Is everyone forbidden to cook a curry which may fall within the recipe limits of the patent? Can the owner sue a restaurant which sells such a curry? I am not an expert in food (not even in Indian food), but ingredients in Table 4 (note that the table has very wide ranges) is one of the ways you can make Indian chicken curry. Prima facie, it seems to me that it overlaps with a large number of recipes from a big portion of the continent of Asia. Am I missing something?

Edit 1:
Based on the comment made by George White, I am adding a different patent (since the original is an application and not a patent):
The patent is about making shaped snacks from crumbs. However, my original question still stands: is the recipe in the patents protected? For example, in this case, can I make and sell the snacks using the same recipe if I do not shape it?

  • 1
    This document is an application for a patent, not a granted patent. – George White Jul 21 '14 at 0:00
  • So are there patents for recipes out there? – Shashank Sawant Jul 21 '14 at 0:04
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    An example: United States Patent 7,597,91 Shaped snacks made from baked dough crumbs Abstract The invention relates to a process for making shaped bread snacks comprising the steps of grinding baked dough material having a water activity of 0.85 to 0.99 into crumbs, optionally mixing the crumbs with small amounts of common food ingredients, heating the crumbs or the crumb mixture to a temperature in the range of about 70.degree. C. to 80.degree. C. and readjusting the water activity to about the value of the original baked dough material, hot moulding the crumbs or crumb mixture . . . – George White Jul 21 '14 at 3:14

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