taste can not be protected by law. To this judgment, the European court of justice (ECJ) in the case of a dispute, Heksenkaas. Food manufacturers may claim copyright on their taste (Az. C 310/17).

the Dutch company Levola, which owns the rights to a spreadable cheese called Heksenkaas had Complained. Levola is of the opinion that the similar-tasting hurt at the end of Witte Wievenkaas the supermarket chain Smilde your copyrights.

In its judgment, the judges in Luxembourg found that a “plant” only has copyright protection, if it is “with a reasonable degree of accuracy and objectivity identifiable,” such as movies and music. This property is missing, according to the court, but in the case of food, the taste sensations are subjective and changeable – for example, by age, dietary preferences and consumption habits can be influenced.

“A technical identification of taste is in the current state of science is not possible”, therefore it is called the verdict. This is for copyright protection, however, is necessary, but first and foremost, mental creations and forms of expression, but not for procedures or ways of working. Taste can’t be classified as “work”.

About the specific case now has to decide the competent court in the Netherlands. The judge had appealed to the ECJ on the fundamental clarification of the copyright issue.

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