The taste of food cannot be copyrighted, rules EU court

Commenting on today's European Court of Justice ruling that the taste of food cannot be copyrighted, Penelope Thornton, Senior Knowledge Lawyer at Hogan Lovells, said: "There is no definition of a copyright 'work' at EU level and so Member States have some flexibility about which categories of works are protected. This has led to some works being protected in one EU country that wouldn't be protected in another (e.g. the smell of perfume).

"Today the CJEU agreed with the AG that a work has to be identifiable with precision and objectivity in order to be protected. Rightsholders will be concerned that the CJEU is attempting to harmonise the meaning of "works" at EU level and that this new test could limit the ability for rights-holders to protect non-conventional categories of work, such as the smell of perfume or the taste of food throughout the EU."

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