A lengthy legal dispute between two Dutch cheese manufacturers has been resolved by the European Union’s highest court. Levola Hengelo, a company that produces a herb and veggie-filled cheese spread, said that a competitor’s product tasted similar and infringed on its patent.
Taste cannot be patented, according to the Court, because it cannot be defined with accuracy and objectivity. Copyright protects precise and objectively expressed literary, musical, and cinematographic work
Since the sense of taste varies from person to person, taste is perceived to be something of a concept. Furthermore, it is impossible to objectively describe individual preferences.
On the grounds that the Dutch courts had ruled in 2006 that the cosmetics firm Lancôme could trademark the fragrance of a perfume, Levola took Smilde to court for making a dip with similar ingredients and a similar name.
Taste, according to Smilde, is arbitrary and therefore difficult to copyright. The court found in Smilde’s favour.
This is a huge decision because it affects the whole European Union. This isn’t the first time the European Court of Justice has ruled on a snack manufacturer. Nestle was denied the right to patent the shape of its famous chocolate, Kitkat, earlier this year. Now it is time for European snack manufacturers to come up with more creative ideas.
Info by: Patent Attorney India