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Intellectual Property, Copyright & Cocktails


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I should probably point out that the name "Painkiller" was never the official name, the business name nor the D/B/A name of the establishment. It was (and will probably continue to be) an informal name for the bar. Yes, the name was used on some menus, and yes, everyone called the bar "Painkiller." But the street signage simply said "Tiki Bar." So, effectively, all this means it that they won't put "Painkiller" on the menus and will sell the drink under a different name if they're not using Pusser's to make it. I should also point out that a big reason the bar was never actually named "Painkiller" is because it would have been against the code in New York, which prohibits the sale of booze under a name that implies medicinal use.

I have it on good authority that this whole thing has been blown way out of proportion in the blogosphere, that it was all meaningfully resolved with a friendly telephone conversation, and that the PKNY guys and the Pusser's guys are perfectly friendly with each other.

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I have it on good authority that this whole thing has been blown way out of proportion in the blogosphere, that it was all meaningfully resolved with a friendly telephone conversation, and that the PKNY guys and the Pusser's guys are perfectly friendly with each other.

This tends to happen nowadays, call it mock outrage if you must.

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  • 3 years later...

I have invented a new cocktail.  I was really proud of this moment of inspiration: it just came to me in a flash, completely out of the blue.  It's a simple, but surprisingly delicious blend.  It consists of equal parts of Guinness (Extra Cold works best) and blue WKD.

 

I call it a Widnes.

 

Does anybody have any advice on how I can copyright my invention?

 

Thanks,

 

Mike

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You're mixing a decent beer with a fruit-flavored vodka cooler... in equal parts. Even if it somehow manages to be tasty, it would probably take most people no time at all to decode it. There are people on these forums (myself not being among them) that create drinks that elevate the definition of craft cocktail and they share them freely. I don't think there's any danger that anybody is going to steal the Widnes and make their fortune without you. I don't mean that to sound harsh, but take a leisurely stroll through the Spirits & Cocktails forum and you'll see what I mean.

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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Mike, expounding on cdh's comment, here's what the U.S. Copyright office says about recipes:

 

Copyright law does not protect recipes that are mere listings of ingredients. Nor does it protect other mere listings of ingredients such as those found in formulas, compounds, or prescriptions. Copyright protection may, however, extend to substantial literary expression—a description, explanation, or illustration, for example—that accompanies a recipe or formula or to a combination of recipes, as in a cookbook.

The page then goes on to link an article on Copyright Basics which you might find interesting.

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