THE TASTE OF “Heks’nkaas”
Heks´nkaas – which literally translated means ‘witches cheese” – Is a cheese spread with herbs produced by Levola Hengelo B.V. Levola believes that the taste of this cheese spread is so special that it should qualify for copyright protection. That would be a unique situation, because copyright has never been granted on a taste before.
Are tastes protected by copyright?
On behalf of our client who brought a product called Magic Cheese on the market, a spread cheese with fresh herbs, we successfully defended the position of our client. The court ruled that Hek’snkaas is made up of obvious and basic ingredients; cream cheese as basis with addition of some herbs, such as parsley. The court has left open the question of whether a taste in general could be protected by copyright at all, but ruled that Levola’s cheese spread would not be original enough for copyright protection.
The European Court has recently confirmed in proceedings about Heks’nkaas that tastes are not eligible for copyright protection. Everyone can breathe a sigh of relief and do not have to be afraid of copyright infringement on tastes.
The specialized lawyers of IPLaywers support manufacturers of food products with the following:
- Legal support with questions regarding the protection of product names through trademark registrations;
- Contract negotiations regarding license agreement with retail parties;
- Legal support with questions regarding packaging and the requirements therefor.