Law in Popular Culture

Creative Legal Minds May Be Able to Protect a Cocktail, IP Law Profs Say

  • Print.

You can’t copyright a drink recipe. But some aspects of a creative cocktail might be protected under other legal theories, according to two law professors writing a guest column in the Freakonomics blog of the New York Times.

Trademark is one, say Kal Raustiala, UC-Los Angeles and Chris Sprigman of the University of Virginia, citing the Painkiller concoction that the maker of Pusser’s Rum claims to have branded.

Another is technology, including the technique used to make the drink. While famous Japanese bartender Kazuo Ueda was kind enough to share with the world the “Hard Shake” drink-mixing method he invented, others might have opted to seek a profit from such skills, they suggest.

Related material:

Broadsword PR (2006): “Record Pusser’s Painkiller Thriller Takes Place in Trying Conditions”

Updated at 9 p.m. to correct typo.

Give us feedback, share a story tip or update, or report an error.