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.
Lawyers for the lobster were unavailable for comment. Photo: Melissa Hom