Can I sell my lasagna recipe?
by Maria Houser Conzemius
(Iowa City, IA)
I've been using the basic contours of an old Betty Crocker lasagna recipe for years, but I've changed it quite a bit over the years, and wonder if it is now my own recipe and I can sell it to a local coop, which is interested in producing it for their deli.
Complicating the issue is that the son of our good friends is a top manager at the coop. I would give the recipe to them to give him.
Answer: Wow, now that's a question!
Firstly, I should state very clearly indeed that I'm not a copyright lawyer (nor a lawyer of any kind in fact!), so if you're worried about the legal ramifications, I would suggest you talk to someone qualified about this.
That said, my layman's knee-jerk response is that if the recipe has been significantly changed then to my mind it probably becomes a new recipe.
If I think of some of the cooking programs on TV, like Jamie Oliver's Italy series for instance, he tours around, learning dishes from locals in many cases, then does 'his version' of these (changing a couple of ingredients say) and it's this new version which appears in his TV program and in his paid-for books. Whether he pays royalties to the local cook he was inspired by, I'm not sure.
Just my two-penneth. It must be seriously tasty anyway... do feel free to share your lasagna secret here!
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