The question I'm referring to is here:

Is it possible to patent recipes?

The tag has got to go. But I honestly have no idea what should take its place. It has to be something that will actually be used again, otherwise the tag will get auto-deleted after a while.

Assuming it's on topic (I'd say that it is - barely), what can we use?

I'm wary of tags like or because having that tag implies that we have or expect to have experts on the subject. I don't think that's the case. So what sort of person in the culinary community would ask/answer that kind of question? If we can answer that, tagging should be easier.

3 Answers 3


There aren't relevant tags. The question is off-topic. Further, its too broad or too localized.

I'm pretty sure the person who answers "can this be patented?" is a patent lawyer. Or a combination of patent lawyers and examiners at the Patent and Trademark Office. It's a legal question. It also varies by country (or worse). Answering for all countries is far too broad; answering for just one would not be generally applicable to the worldwide audience.

I suppose as far as the culinary community goes, maybe food scientists would ask, or process engineers working on food plants, though that's getting pretty far from the culinary community. We certainly wouldn't accept a lot of questions from process engineers ("my thingamajig is extruding product faster than my whatsit can process, how do I adjust the timing?")

I think we just don't want law questions here, even if they involve cooking:

  • While cooking styles and tastes vary from region to region, boiling pasta actually works the same regardless of political jurisdiction. And the styles and tastes of e.g., North Carolina, USA are interesting (and apply) to someone in Bavaria, Germany. The laws, however, are not and do not. So cooking crosses borders, but law generally does not.
  • Law is actually a very different discipline, and we just don't have the expertise in it. Further, getting it wrong can be very bad. Our audience generally shouldn't be expected to know a right from wrong legal answer, and its very hard to observe the difference until its too late, so voting is unlikely to help select only correct answers.


Do we have a tag for creating recipes from scratch? Seems like that would be reused and maybe would get rid of some of the 'recipe' tags (although, it would probably be misused too).

  • If this gets used, can I create it? My chances of a taxonimst badge are dwindling... ;o)
    – yossarian
    Jul 22, 2011 at 13:15
  • Conflicted on this one - it's definitely the more descriptive tag, and even technically identifies the audience (chefs create recipes), but it's also essentially a meta-tag with a lot of potential for misuse...
    – Aaronut
    Jul 25, 2011 at 23:28
  • Also, I'm doubting you'll get 50 posts out of this tag
    – mfg
    Oct 5, 2011 at 15:35


Could be used on restaurant mimicry questions too. Although, this tag would essentially answer the question in the negative.

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