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Publications Intl. v. Meredith Corp. (88 F.3d 473, 1996 Jul 8)

Decision Parameters

Decisions It Cites

    Harper Row Publishers v. Nation Enterprise [471 U.S. 539, 1985]
    Feist Publications v. Rural Telephone [499 U.S. 340, 1991]

Decisions That Cite It

Rules & Quotes

[PROCESS] {1} The DISCOVER DANNON recipes' directions for preparing the assorted dishes fall squarely within the class of subject matter specifically excluded from copyright protection by 17 U.S.C. Section 102(b). Webster's defines a recipe as: "a set of instructions for making something . . . a formula for cooking or preparing something to be eaten or drunk: a list of ingredients and a statement of the procedure to be followed in making an item of food or drink . . . a method of procedure for doing or attaining something". WEBSTER'S THIRD NEW INTERNATIONAL DICTIONARY 1895 (Merriam-Webster 1986). The recipes at issue here describe a procedure by which the reader may produce many dishes featuring Dannon yogurt. As such, they are excluded from copyright protection as either a "procedure, process, [or] system". 17 U.S.C. Section 102(b). ... Protection for ideas or processes is the purview of patent. The order and manner in which Meredith presents the recipes are part and parcel of the copyright in the compilation, but that is as far as it goes. As Professor Nimmer states: "This conclusion [i.e., that recipes are copyrightable] seems doubtful because the content of recipes are clearly dictated by functional considerations, and therefore may be said to lack the required element of originality, even though the combination of ingredients contained in the recipes may be original in a noncopyright sense."

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