Can Taste Be Subject To Copyright?

Chefs and avid restaurant diners may want to follow an issue that has the legal community abuzz. A new and curious recent court ruling over cheese has broad ramifications for the food industry as we know it.

The question at hand: is it possible to copyright taste?

Although the subject matter of sensory copyright is vast and often confusing to those outside the legal community, the case of Heks’nkaas (“witches’ cheese”) is an interesting one. According to the company, Levola, who bought the recipe for the cheese spread from a local grocery in 2011, it should be allowed to copyright its cheese spread due to its unique taste. The case was initially dismissed, but has been brought before another court, The District Court in The Hague to revisit the ruling.

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