Updated November 25, 2020:

To patent a drink recipe, you need to file an application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). For your drink recipe to be eligible for a patent, it must meet several qualifications, such as being novel and non-obvious.

Can You Patent a Drink Recipe?

The benefit of obtaining a patent is that you will be able to prevent others from copying and profiting from your invention. The USPTO issues patents in three distinct categories:

  • Design.
  • Plant.
  • Utility.

Based on the rules of the USPTO, utility patents are available for new, useful processes. Matter compositions and manufacturing articles can also receive protection with a utility patent. In some cases, it may be possible to patent a recipe for a new drink, especially if your drink requires a unique mixing technique or ingredients that are not found in other drinks.

Generally, you would protect a drink recipe using a utility patent. However, there are certain legal requirements you must meet if you want to protect your recipe this way.

If you want to patent a drink recipe, there are several questions you should ask yourself about your drink:

  • Does the drink fall under patentable subject matter?
  • Is your drink recipe useful?
  • Is your drink recipe novel?
  • Is your recipe non-obvious, meaning your recipe would not immediately occur to an expert in the mixology field?

If you answered "yes" to all of these questions, then you should be able to patent your drink recipe as long as you can fully describe your recipe in your application in a way that satisfies the USPTO rules. If your utility patent is approved, your drink recipe will be protected for 14 years.

Before you begin the patent application process, you should search registered patents and pending applications to make sure that your drink recipe is distinct. If your recipe is similar to a previously registered patent, the USPTO will reject your application. To perform your search, you need to visit the USPTO website to search both of its full-text databases.

The first database is for patents that have already been issued, and the second is for pending applications. You can also search for patents using an online search engine.

Once you are on the USPTO website, you should click the “quick search” option. Enter several search terms that will reveal drink recipe patents. Carefully read the search page, and if you do not find any similar recipes, you should refine your search terms. Repeat this same process for pending applications.

Preparing Your Application

If your patent search does not reveal any similar drink recipes, you should move forward with the application process. First, you need to request both a digital certificate and a customer number from the Electronic Business Center of the USPTO. You need these two pieces of information in order to file your application and pay the applicable fees.

After receiving these items, you should download a Declaration for Utility Patent Application. Once you have this form, you should provide the requested information.

Now, you need to fully describe your drink recipe. You should explain both the drink and the process for making the drink. Some of the information to add to this description includes:

  • The ingredients required.
  • The full recipe.
  • The step-by-step process of making the drink.

You should also include drawings if you believe they could help the patent examiner better understand your recipe.

Filing Your Application Online

Once you have prepared your application, you can file this document on the USPTO website. First, you will need to complete the eFILER registration. Enter all of the requested information, which includes your first and last name and your email address. Next, select the “New Application” option.

On the next screen, you should click “Nonprovisional Application” and then “Utility.” Now, you can upload your completed applications and your patent drawings.

Once you have uploaded your application, you need to pay your patent fees. The cost for a utility patent is $630. This fee covers both a patent search and examination. If your patent receives approval, you will need to pay $1,185 for your patent to be issued. You will also need to pay for your patent to be published. You may need to pay other fees depending on the number of claims you added to your application.

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