8 – The protection of secret ingredients in aromatized wines

The protection of secret ingredients in aromatized wines

- Attorney Paolo Veronesi

UGIVI – Società Italiana Brevetti SpA, Verona

The lawyer Paolo Veronesi, of Società Italiana Brevetti and UGIVI, faced the intriguing topic of “secret” ingredients.

In fact, very few people within a company know the exact formulation of the Vermouth di Torino that is produced. This is kept absolutely confidential, because it must be inimitable and must give the Vermouth its particular identity. How to protect this secret is not easy and it is necessary first of all to define what it consists of. Even after 8 December 2023, with the entry into force of the new labelling obligations, the ingredients may remain secret and will not be included in the QR Code on the label. The essence of this secret, in addition to the specific ingredients, fundamentally concerns their dosages, the methods of obtaining the extracts, their combination and the particularities of the processing procedure.

It is conceivable to think of patenting these processes, as an industrial invention, but patenting costs more than keeping a secret. Furthermore, the patent lasts only twenty years, after which it becomes public domain. Maybe it’s better to keep a secret than to move towards a patent.