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The French Chef Model Of Intellectual Property

beets-and-leeks.jpgFor the week since Brad Feld published it, I’ve been trying to find something to enhance “Norms-based IP and French Chefs:”

Norms-based IP systems are an alternative (or a complement) to legal based IP systems. The Case of French Chefs is a superb example of how this works. If you care a lot about IP protection – especially if you think our current system has issues – this paper is definitely worth reading and pondering.

The picture is of course, “Beets and Leeks,” the preparation in which Thomas Keller introduced butter-poached lobster. Interestingly, that preparation is now widely copied, and Keller has gone on to a version of Beets and Leeks in which the lobster is prepared sous-vide.

The picture is from “Fine dining with Tom, anne and David in Napa, California.”

5 comments on "The French Chef Model Of Intellectual Property"

  • Chris Walsh says:

    Reputation. Small community. Fairly well-connected network. You can see how an informal enforcement mechanism would arise here. Another canonical example is the Antwerp diamond-dealing community, in which religious ties also play a part (the dealers are invariably orthodox jews).
    However, it is highly unlikely (IMO) that such a mechanism could work when members of one community are the IP producers, and persons outside that community tend to be the consumers, for example.

  • Adam says:

    admittedly, its not a perfect line up. I am forced to note that the consumers of restaurant “IP” are often not members of the restaurant industry.

  • Chris Walsh says:

    Isn’t the IP in the restaurant case the recipe?

  • Chris_B says:

    Interesting idea, but I’m sure there is a bounds limit on the number of members of an honor based community for this to work at all.
    Seems to me that honor based IP probably is limited to professions: 1)with a long history 2)which are oriented around the individual craftsman 3)which usually involve an apprenticeship stage.

  • Chris_B says:

    BTW that photo looks like a kneebone in a puddle of blood.

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