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Economic Rationale For Extending Protection To Smell Marks


  • Bhagwan, Ashitha
  • Kulkarni, Namita
  • Ramanujam, Padmanabha


In the traditional view of trademark law, a trademark serves its brand-identifying function. Consequently, marks which consumers actually use to identify the source of a product were allowed protection. James Hawes was the first commentator to assert that product scent merits trademark protection. This paper presents a study which discusses the appropriateness of trademark protection for fragrances. It is also argued that there exists some economic justification for allowing new forms of non-standard marks and in particular smell marks.

Suggested Citation

  • Bhagwan, Ashitha & Kulkarni, Namita & Ramanujam, Padmanabha, 2007. "Economic Rationale For Extending Protection To Smell Marks," MPRA Paper 5604, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:5604

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    smell marks; fragrances and non-standard marks;

    JEL classification:

    • K11 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Property Law

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