The IPKat smells a rat

A Lithuanian company has applied to register the smell of freshly baked pizza as a trade mark according to the Washington Post.

"Opinion polls show that many consumers in Lithuania identify the pleasure of eating pizza with our trade mark," said Mindaugas Gumauskas, marketing director of the Cilija company. "This makes us believe that the scent of freshly baked pizza is a subject to our copyright."

The IPKat isn’t impressed. He very much doubts that the smell of pizza could be adequately graphically represented. Even if it could, he doubts if the smell of pizza would be capable of distinguishing the goods of one undertaking from those of other undertakings.

Online music services sued

Billboard reports that a whole load of online music services including Apple and Napster are in trouble over copyright. Euro Tec Publishing, Bruce Caplin, Prestoons Music and related companies, independent music publishers, have filed the action in the District Court of Los Angeles. Customary licences are available so that publishers cannot refuse to license previously recorded and released songs, but it is argued that the online music services did not comply with the requisite formalities.

The IPKat reckons that while this is serious, it doesn’t threaten the basic workings of the online music services.
SMELLS AND SOUNDS SMELLS AND SOUNDS Reviewed by Unknown on Thursday, May 18, 2006 Rating: 5


  1. In Australia, scent protection is guaranteed by law, in that smells are part of the definition of 'signs' and signs are what can be trade marked.

    What I find incredible is that if the smell of pizza could be proven as being used as a badge of origin, as it were, then there is nothing stopping the company you describe obtaining TM protection.

    The recent strawberry case also comes to mind. How can you possibly stop other people using the smell of pizza?

    In Australia, you may very well be able to!

  2. If someone succesfully trademarks the smell of freshly baked pizza, would that prohibit anyone else baking pizzas for sale within "nose-shot" of consumers?


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