Copyright Protection for Perfumes

11 Pages Posted: 9 Aug 2004 Last revised: 21 Oct 2010

See all articles by Thomas G. Field

Thomas G. Field

University of New Hampshire School of Law (formerly Franklin Pierce Law Center)

Date Written: November 6, 2004


In June 2004, the Lancome opinion from the Netherlands held that perfume compositions are copyrightable. The thesis of this paper is that the Dutch Court's approach runs afoul of basic copyright principles. Protecting scents instead would be relatively novel, but hardly radical, and necessary adaptations to copyright law would be modest. The paper nevertheless concludes that, lacking evidence of need, judges should not be quick to expand copyright law and should await legislative action.

[An English translation of the Dutch opinion by Annemarie Louise Margot (Dooijes) Field, the author's daughter-in-law, follows at 31.]

Keywords: Copyright, patent, trade secret, perfume, Dutch

JEL Classification: K20, K40

Suggested Citation

Field, Thomas G., Copyright Protection for Perfumes (November 6, 2004). IDEA: The Journal of Law and Technology, Vol. 45, p. 19, 2004. Available at SSRN: or

Thomas G. Field (Contact Author)

University of New Hampshire School of Law (formerly Franklin Pierce Law Center) ( email )

Two White Street
Concord, NH 03301
United States

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