Can I copyright a recipe?

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The Copyright Office clearly states that mere listings of ingredients as in recipes, formulas, compounds or prescriptions are not subject to copyright protection. However, where a recipe or formula is accompanied by substantial literary expression in the form of an explanation or directions, or when there is a combination of recipes, as in a cookbook, there may be a basis for copyright protection.  For more information on what is copyrightable and how to do it, go to the Copyright Office's website at www.copyright.gov.

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