When Rebecca Charles of Pearl Oyster Bar sued Ed's Lobster Bar for intellectual-property theft last year, sages on both sides plucked at their beards. Would recipes become industrial secrets, with sous-chefs who spill them being held liable? Or would they be akin to open-source code, available for the taking to the Cindy McCains of the world? We still don't know. The battle has ended not with a bang but a whimper, as the parties have settled out of court with details kept confidential, the Times reported on Saturday. Ed's changed a few details (the color of the wainscoting and chairs, the name of the house seafood stew) but stubbornly refused to budge on the Caesar salad, a sticking point in his former employer's craw; she claims that her mom invented the idea of having English-muffin croutons. The good lady could have gone down in history as the Dred Scott of cookery, but the parties have punted and history will have to wait.