Imagine this: a restaurant hires a celebrity chef to give its business a boost with a headliner to draw new customers to the establishment. The celebrity chef creates new dishes while employed at the restaurant, and naturally, a following ensues that increases business. A few years later, the chef leaves for another opportunity. Can the restaurant’s successor chef still use the recipes the celebrity created while employed at the restaurant? In the alternative, what happens when a restaurant hires a green culinary grad, trains her, molds and grooms her, gives her access to the all the tried and true recipes. Years later, she is hired away to a competitor – can she take those recipes with her and use them with a competitor?
If you look at each of these situations after the fact, the answer is that not much that can be done to stop continued use of the recipes. Unless the restaurant or chef took precautions prior to the engagement, the recipes are essentially a free for all. The law provides some options; yet, even those precautions are not exactly solid. Here are a few:
Overall, there are options to protect the recipes. The real issue is evaluating if the solutions are worthwhile, and whether they accomplish the goal of protecting your work. If you would like more information or how to implement one of the above, please contact us to strategize on a solution.
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