YEAR 2019 N.º 2

ISSN 2182-9845

The Mondrian Cake: may Intellectual Property protect signature food?

Maria Victória Rocha


Culinary creations; copyright; industrial property; trade secrets; unfair competition.


Taking the example of the Mondrian Cake, in this article we distinguish recipes from presentation of signature dishes, as well as cookbooks, menus and restaurants and aim to know what can be protected by Intellectual Property (e.g. copyright, patents, designs, trademarks, trade dress, trade secrets, general rules against unfair competition or even nondisclosure agreements and fiduciary duties). Regarding copyright, we emphasise the difference between USA and Continental Copyright approach. For situations where some kind of Intellectual Property protection is possible, we question enforcement and if all type of protection is desirable. What we conclude about food applies to beverages.

Table of contents

1. Introduction
2. Copyright for culinary creations
3. Neighbouring rights protection of performances of chefs
4. Patent protection in the culinary industry
5. Models and designs protection for culinary creations
6. Trademark protection for culinary creations
7. Other forms of protection of culinary creations by distinctive signs
8. Trade secrets and other forms of protection for culinary creations
8.1. Trade secrets, nondisclosure agreements, fiduciary duties
8.2. General rules against unfair competition
9. Should Intellectual Property protect culinary creations?
10. Conclusions