Author's note: This blog was inspired while watching Guy Fieri on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. :)
We have all had a little black book at one point or another. I still have mine and my wonderful wife of seven years doesn’t really mind. But wait, it isn’t what you are thinking...
I fancy myself as a self-taught, amateur home chef. Even though I keep my hand-scribbled secret recipes in my little black book hidden away in my home office so nobody can get to them, I never really thought of my recipes as intellectual property (IP). Over time I jot them down, refine them, and share them with my family and friends (albeit, only in the form of an amazing final product). My creations range from various styles of baby back ribs and sauce, to kick butt meatballs, to homemade pizza crust and sauce to go with it. Each of my recipes are the result of many years of cooking disasters and missteps honed down to a fine art which, if followed, result in amazing masterpieces that will stun even the pickiest foodies.
Have I gone on enough? Do these secret recipes constitute intellectual property and are they actually worth something? I think so, and someday I may even publish my book of PIP's Famous Recipes.
But what would happen if someone burglarized our house and ran off with my book? How have I protected my secret recipes? At this point, I haven't really (other than hiding them in my office and making sure ADT is always on). This protection simply is not sufficient. I spoke with the CEO of Traklight and she talked about things like the lengths that Coca Cola® goes to to protect one of the most famous trade secret recipes. One way they protect their trade secret is by splitting the recipe up and only sharing portions of it with different people in the company so nobody has the entire recipe.
Although I am not prepared to bifurcate my recipes like Coca Cola does, I really should start to protect them by scanning my little black book and uploading them to my IP Vault. The CEO also reminded me that I should use Traklight's software platform to create my own IP strategy and possibly seek legal advice from one of our attorney friends.
So as crazy as it seems, you have intellectual property whether it is in your personal life or your business. I'm going to take the necessary precautions to create my IP strategy. Are you?