So now the French think they can own the smell of strawberries???
BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) -- The European Union's second highest court has rejected a French company's bid to trademark the smell of ripe strawberries.
The court said evidence showed that "strawberries do not have just one smell" because varieties of the fruit were not alike.
"There is no generally accepted international classification of smells which would make it possible ... to identify an olfactory sign," the court said Thursday.
Paris-based Eden SARL had asked the court to overrule the EU's trademark agency, which rejected a request made by another French firm to register the scent in May 2004.
The company planned to sell the scent for use in soaps, lotions, cosmetics and scented pens.
The court dismissed the attempt to register the smell and a picture of a strawberry as a trademark. It agreed that in some cases, a trademark for a scent could be allowed.
"The olfactory memory is probably the most reliable memory that humans posses," it said. "Consequently, economic operators have a clear interest in using olfactory signs to identify their goods."
Only one scent has so far won EU trademark protection: the smell of freshly cut grass. A Dutch perfume company registered the scent in 2000 and uses it to make tennis balls smell good.
Attempts to trademark raspberry, lemon and vanilla scents have also been turned down.
To their defense though I guess they did have some reason since freshly cut grass has already been trademarked, although I still don't understand that one either.