article | 20 Nov 2019

A taste may be unique but it is not subject to copyright protection.

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The EU Court concludes that a taste of a food cannot be protected by copyright. Interpreting national legislation in a way that results in copyright protection for such a taste is thus not compliant with EU-law. This is evident from the EU Court’s preliminary ruling of November 13th in C-310/17 between Levola Hengelo BV and Smilde Foods BV. The reason is that a taste cannot constitute a work since it cannot be specified with precision and objectivity. Instead a taste is defined based on subjective taste sensations and experiences that may vary between people and over time.


Practice areas:

Life Sciences

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