European Union: Flavors of food products cannot be copyrighted

On 13 November 2018, the European Court of Justice advised decision C-310/17 for case Levola Hengelo BV/Smilde Foods BV.

In the decision, the Court finds that the flavor of a food product cannot be identified with precision and objectivity, because unlike literary, pictorial, cinematographic or musical works, which are precise and objective expressions, flavor identification of a food product is essentially based on taste sensations and experiences, which are subjective and variable.  Favors depend on factors related to the person testing the product in question, such as their age, country, food preferences and consumption habits, as well as the environment or the context in which tasting of the product takes place.  Therefore, copyrighting would be non-applicable when protecting flavors.

Original source in Spanish