Canadian Manufacturing

EU court rules taste of food cannot be trademarked

Levola, the producer of "Heksenkaas,'' or witches' cheese, wanted its spreadable dip protected from copycats


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BRUSSELS – The European Union’s highest court hasn’t fallen under the spell of Dutch witches’ cheese.

The European Court of Justice said Tuesday that “the taste of a food product cannot be identified with precision of objectivity” and ruled that it is “not eligible for copyright protection.”

It was asked for a ruling by a Dutch court seeking advice in a case where Levola, the producer of “Heksenkaas,” or witches’ cheese, wanted its spreadable dip protected from copycats.

A competitor had brought “Witte Wievenkaas,” or white women’s cheese, on the market four years ago, and Levola said that cheese dip was a reproduction.

Unlike books, movies, songs and the like, the EU’s highest court said the taste of food depends on sensations and experiences, “which are subjective and variable.”

 


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