Home > Reading Room > Sour taste of defeat as AG says no copyright protection for Dutch cheese taste

Sour taste of defeat as AG says no copyright protection for Dutch cheese taste

Written by Ellis Sweetenham on 26 July 2018

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The world of intellectual property is evolving all the time, with the weird and wonderful gaining IP protection.

However the latest attempt has gone sour following the advice of the Advocate General.

The Court of Justice for the European Union sought the Advocate General’s advise in respect of the granting of copyright protection for the taste of Dutch cheese.

This request stemmed from the accusation made by Dutch company Levola Hengelo who stated that Smilde Food had infringed the copyright protection of the taste of Heks’nkaas, which is a spreadable cheese.

Levola’s claim was initially dismissed by the Court of Gelderland, however on appeal the Court of Appeal referred the question to the CJEU asking

“Does EU law preclude the taste of a food product—as the own intellectual creation of the author—being granted copyright protection?”

The CJEU passed this query to the AG for their opinion and it is not what Levola was hoping for.

It is thought the Court of Appeal will probe the CJEU further as to the requirements for taste copyright protection if they rule in favour. However, given the AG’s opinion this doesn’t look likely.

Hold on to your crackers, Lawdit will keep you updated of the CJEU decision when it is issued.

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