Many things can get a patent- processes for creating new chemicals, new drugs, new mechanical inventions, and even certain types of software. But can perfumes get a patent? If not, how can they be protected? Read this IP Conversation to find out!
Hey IP Geek.
I heard that Gucci has made a new perfume without any artificial chemicals.
They are using only oil and flowers to make that scent. Can Gucci get a patent on this?
Patents are given to inventions with novelty, inventive-step and utility.
Perfumes have certainly gotten patents in the past, but it’s not always the best way to protect them.
Some types of perfumes may not even be able to get a patent. For example, if the composition is entirely made of natural elements, then the perfume may be denied a patent for being a “mere admixture”.
Additionally, the scent itself cannot be patented. Only specific and novel chemicals, processes, or compositions associated with the scent can be protected.
Perfume makers can therefore use trade secrets or trademarks to protect unique scents.
Trade secrets can keep the formula a secret without disclosing the materials or process used in the perfume.
Scent trademarks can potentially provide a very broad protection. However, they are not easily obtained. Trade secrets may, despite the secrecy requirements, be the most practical way to protect perfumes.
Wow! I did not think that perfumes could be protected by other forms of IP!
Thanks for letting me know about this, IP Geek.
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