It seems like anything can be labelled "intellectual property" these days, be it a TV catchphrase, a song uploaded to Myspace, or any combination of the words "face or "book". Thankfully, drinks orders have long flown under the radar of the US Copyright office.
But Eben Freeman, a highly-respected bartender at a famous New American…FUSION restaurant that could only exist in a place like New York City, is trying to put a stamp on his cocktails: the patent stamp. Freeman recently moderated an intellectual property seminar where he lectured to bartenders "about protecting trade secrets" – namely, how to withhold information about all that weird shit you put in your drinks.
Gawker points out:
Patents cover only functionally useful and non-obvious inventions, which excludes most drinks; copyright covers only the phrasing of a recipe and not the ingredients or proportions; and trademarking will only protect the name of your drink (if you police it) but not what actually goes into it.
You can't blame a guy for trying to squeeze a dollar out of Vodka, triple sec and artisan cheese. Eben's best advice is to keep drink recipes to yourself, which, if you've ever experienced someone who's very proud of their mixing ability, is an uphill battle.