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The taste of a food product is not a “work”!

19 November 2018

On 13 November 2018, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), considered that under the Copyright Directive, the taste of the cream cheese “Heksenkaas” cannot be protected as a copyright.

The Court finds, indeed, that in order to be protected by copyright within the meaning of the aforementioned Directive, the taste of a food product must be capable of being considered as an original intellectual creation which can be identified with precision and objectivity.

Yet, unlike a literary, pictorial, cinematographic or musical work, which is a precise and objective expression, the taste of a food product will be identified essentially on the basis of taste sensations and experiences, which are subjective and variable.

Accordingly, the Court concludes that the taste of a food product cannot be classified as a “work” and consequently is not eligible for copyright protection under the Directive.

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