The highest court of the European Union has ended a long battle between two Dutch cheese producers. Levola Hengelo, which makes an herb and veggie-filled cheese spread, contended that a similar tasting product by a different company was infringing on its copyright.
According to the Court’s ruling, taste cannot be copyrighted as it cannot be identified with precision and objectivity. Copyright subsists in literary, artistic, cinematographic work which are precise and have an objective expression.
Taste is considered to be more of an idea because the sensation of taste differs from person to person. Further, it is not possible to define specific tastes in an objective way.
Levola took Smilde to the court for producing a dip with similar ingredients and with a similar name, on the grounds that the Dutch courts had ruled in 2006 that the cosmetics company Lancôme could copyright the scent of a perfume.
Smilde argued that taste is subjective and therefore, impossible to copyright. The court ruled in favour of Smilde.
This is a very significant judgment as it applies to the entire E.U. bloc. This is not the first time that the European Court of Justice dealt a harsh blow to a snack company. Earlier, this year, it has ruled against Nestle to trademark the shape of its popular chocolate, Kitkat. Perhaps, it is time for the European snack companies to think of more
Category : SOCIAL MEDIA