Chicken sandwich can't be copyrighted, federal appeals court rules
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A ham sandwich, as popular lore has it, may well be indictable.
But a chicken sandwich isn’t copyrightable, a federal appeals court has ruled.
Agreeing with a trial court’s decision, the 1st U.S. Court of Appeals on Friday held (PDF) that a fast-food worker seeking a $10 million share of the profits allegedly reaped from his chicken sandwich concept is out of luck.
“A recipe—or any instructions—listing the combination of chicken, lettuce, tomato, cheese, and mayonnaise on a bun to create a sandwich is quite plainly not a copyrightable work,” the court wrote. Likewise, the name of the sandwich also can’t be copyrighted because “words and short phrases, such as names, titles, and slogans” can’t be protected.
The Law & Disorder page of Ars Technica has a story.