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Patents Science

IP's Next Big Wave - Taste & Smell Patents 193

Magnavox writes "Futurist Thomas Frey has written an article about Monday's Nobel Prize in medicine opening the door for taste & smell patents. Dr. Richard Axel and Dr. Linda B. Buck won the prize for scientifically describing how odor-sensing proteins in the nose translate specific tastes and smells into information in the brain. Patenting smells in the past was limited to describing the chemical composition of the substance. Receptor patterning opens the door for a variety of new patenting possibilities... Perhaps more important will be the decision as to whether smells can be trademarked as symbols of the products or services they represent. Sounds and colors are commonly trademarked today because of the commercial impression they leave on consumers. Smells cannot be far behind. Now I'm wondering if we can patent the smell of money."
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IP's Next Big Wave - Taste & Smell Patents

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 07, 2004 @01:06AM (#10457179)
    The patent for the smell of teen spirit is going to make me rich once the 90's become fashionable again!
    • But since Teen Spirit was a deodorant for a while...

      So would this meen the smell of teen spirit is a perfumy roll-on, or the absence of smell?

      Knowing what the typical teen I run into these days smells like, I gotta go with "neither".


      (grunge folklore says the deodorant was where Kurt got the name of the song, in fact)
    • by SkippyTPE ( 318952 ) <mcgreg@NospaM.bellsouth.net> on Thursday October 07, 2004 @09:36AM (#10458785)
      1. Patent the taste of chicken
      2. Sue everyone (because we all know that everything tastes like chicken)
      3. Profit!!!!!!!
  • Seal it up somewhere, for prior art on New Car Smell. ;-)
  • ...so I can profit when the people revolt against the insane corporate-controlled government!
  • by n54 ( 807502 ) on Thursday October 07, 2004 @01:12AM (#10457210) Homepage Journal
    ...will hasten patent reforms ;)
  • A few beefs (Score:5, Interesting)

    by lothar97 ( 768215 ) * <owen@smi[ ]ski.org ['gel' in gap]> on Thursday October 07, 2004 @01:13AM (#10457218) Homepage Journal
    I'm an IP attorney, and I have a few beefs with this article.

    1. In one sentence Frey refers to trademarks of smells, and then in the next sentence wonders if smell patents can be close behind. For the last f'ing time, patents != trademarks.

    Patent: protects an invention (but not an idea itself)
    Trademark: identifies a source of goods or services (usually through a name or logo)

    Patents and trademark are quite different, so please stop confusing them- especially people writing scholarly articles.

    2. There are not "many" color or sound trademarks. There are very few sound trademarks- the NBC chime comes to mind, and Harley Davidson recently lost their attempt to trademark the Harley engine sound. As for colors, you can get your trademark in a specific color (to distinguish it from similar marks, but there are very few color only trademarks. The only one I know of is Orange, which gets the color orange for cell phones. Using colors for trademarks is more of a European thing, as the US only within the last year began accepting color drawings in trademark applications.

    3. I think Frey is going too far. Sure patent attorneys like to stretch the limits of the law for their clients (like all attorneys), but there needs to be something codified in the law to allow patenting of a smell. Currently a smell by itself does not reach the minimum definition of patentable subject matter. To have something that is patentable, you need a physical invention that does something useful, and I don't see how a smell in itself provides this usefulness. I can see smell as part of an invention, such as a fire alarm system or adding smells to movies. Throwing out wild hypotheticals, I guess you could patent a smell that makes the person inhaling it do a specific reaction- but then that raises ethical questions that the patent office might use as a rejection.

    There is something called a design patent, which protects the ornamental features of an invention (like the propeller people put on their trailer hitches). With a design patent, you do not have claim any useful features, you just show drawings. This could logically be extended to smells, but you need to have a change in the laws.

    • I think Frey is going too far.

      It's not suprising that he thinks that way considering at in the past, he also stated that;

      Within the next ten years the income tax system in the United States will be dismantled. A number of emerging new forces coupled with the universal dislike of the system will soon gain enough of a toehold to cause it to collapse.
    • Re:A few beefs (Score:5, Interesting)

      by JaredOfEuropa ( 526365 ) on Thursday October 07, 2004 @01:36AM (#10457337) Journal
      To have something that is patentable, you need a physical invention that does something useful, and I don't see how a smell in itself provides this usefulness.
      How about perfumes? I am sure Chanel would like to patent their Nr. 5 smell... after all this is the only useful feature you get when you buy an expensive bottle of the stuff. Currently the smell itself is not protected; and you can buy very similar copycat perfumes, the only thing they are not allowed to do is sell it under the name of Chanel.

      Then again, manufacturers should be able to protect designer smells like perfumes. Not sure whether patents are the way to do this... and we don't want any 'one click'-like patents. Else I'd patent the smell of manure as a way to keep unwanted visitors off my land... and then give every farmer the choice of paying me royalties, or invent a manure that does not smell like mine.
      • That's why we have trade secrets, which have the advantage of not being time limited.
        • Re:A few beefs (Score:3, Informative)

          by Lehk228 ( 705449 )
          trade secrets are only protected as long as you proteect them, if someone were to do a molecular analysis of chanel 5 and determine exactly what makes it smell the way it does they could easily release a new product indistinguishable from chanel 5, and sell it for $5/bottle.
          • Re:A few beefs (Score:2, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward
            As with many products in that price range (i.e. extremely over-priced to the lay persion), it's not always the product that they're paying for but the brand. Chanel could likely sell a mediocre-grade product with a large price-tag, just so people can brag about owning it.

            My favorite example of this is a pair of flip-flops that Gucci sells (or sold at one point) for 120USD. The flip-flop is your standard black rubber sole with cloth thong strap flip-flop. Something that you could by at Wal*Mart (et.al.)
          • Re:A few beefs (Score:5, Insightful)

            by hazem ( 472289 ) on Thursday October 07, 2004 @02:27AM (#10457512) Journal
            if someone were to do a molecular analysis of chanel 5 and determine exactly what makes it smell the way it does they could easily release a new product indistinguishable from chanel 5, and sell it for $5/bottle

            That's where branding becomes so important. Good companies work hard to build and protect their brands because customers will associate the brand with the product.

            You could sell your knock-off product, but there will still be plenty of people who will pay more for the *real* Chanel. They *know* they are getting a good product that way.

            For some reason, something in the human psyche reacts to branding. It's probably the basis for things like patriotism, racism, jingoism and esprit de corps.
      • I call bullshi... uh, I mean, prior art.

    • Re:A few beefs (Score:5, Interesting)

      by QuantumG ( 50515 ) <qg@biodome.org> on Thursday October 07, 2004 @01:56AM (#10457402) Homepage Journal
      Patent: protects an invention (but not an idea itself)

      What does that mean exactly? Why use a term that conveys no meaning like that unless you're deliberately trying to mislead people. Call a spade a spade man.

      Patent: restricts what others can do with an invention (which can be an idea, cause that's all software is and it's patentable)

      Slimey lawyer scum.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      For someone who holds themself out to be an IP attorney, I'm frightened at how little he understands of intellectual property.

      First, while a patent does not technically protect the idea itself, it does prevent others from applying the ideas in the patent and using the applied ideas to make money. The line is a fuzzy, at best.

      Next, color by itself can NEVER serve as a trademark. The "Qualitex" case is as close as any court in the US has ever come to saying that color, without more, can serve as a trade id
      • For example, UPS cannot, and will never be able to, trademark the color brown despite their significant investment in the commercials "What can BROWN do for you?"
        As noted above, UPS has trademarked the color brown. Serial number 76408109.
    • by MachDelta ( 704883 ) on Thursday October 07, 2004 @04:00AM (#10457736)
      There are not "many" color or sound trademarks.
      ...but there are very few color only trademarks. The only one I know of is Orange, which gets the color orange for cell phones.
      I know of a colour trademark that EVERYONE will recognize: UPS [ups.com] brown. Yup, it's a trademark. The colour is actually called "Pullman Brown", named after the classy Pullman railroad cars [google.com] way back in the day. It's been a trademark of UPS for such a long time, most people don't even conciously realize the association between the colour and the company. But its there, and thats why it's a trademark.

      As for WHY they picked the colour... two reasons. One, they thought it looked "professional" and classy (like the railcars) while still being unique. This was in contrast to the very first UPS vehicles which were all painted different and often bright colours (red, yellow, etc).
      Two, brown hides dirt very well, giving the impression of always being clean. Infact, the company itself borders on the obsessive with presenting a 'clean image'. UPS trucks are washed daily (!) so they always look nice. Any time a truck is damaged, the very first thing they do with it is hide the truck. Seriously, its company policy that obviously damaged/scratched vehicles are not allowed to sit in sight of the public. The company also has VERY strict rules on the apperance of its employees too (the ones the public sees anyways).

      Anyways... yeah, just wanted to share that little nugget of information. People don't realize just how much time, money, and effort some companies (like UPS) put into image. The objective being, of course, that people DON'T realize the amount of work it takes... and instead simply create a network of positive associations - like colours and apperances - with the company entity.

      It really is amazing what you don't know you know. :)
      • It's too bad UPS can't patent wrecking every last package I've ever sent through them, and trademark how crumpled and wet the box looks when I get it.

        They'd make millions!

        IIRC, 'Wheaties Orange" is a trademarked color - it's assigned its own Pantone number. (It's been awhile since I looked...or ate Wheaties)

    • Re:A few beefs (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Aidtopia ( 667351 )

      Using colors for trademarks is more of a European thing, as the US only within the last year began accepting color drawings in trademark applications.

      The side of the US Postal service trucks in my area claim (in small print) that the eagle logo and the color scheme are trademarks of the US Postal Service.

      To have something that is patentable, you need a physical invention that does something useful, and I don't see how a smell in itself provides this usefulness.

      Doesn't the gas companies add something t

    • Ok, IANAL - however....

      Please correct me if I am wrong but:

      Copyrights: Are for physical objects only such as sheet music, books, and even mechanical objects. In other words -the embodiment of an idea.

      Patents: Are for ideas and/or the concept of those ideas. Thus, you can patent a method for doing something (like KFC's receipes) but you don't have to have the chicken sitting there already cooked. Patents are also given out for formulaes as well as concepts if the formulae is specific enough and has eno
    • I'm a candlemaker and the thought of patents on smells worries me. A lot of the fragrances I use are essentially copies of designer fragrances. I can't use the name because it's trademarked, but I can call it something similar or just say it's a "type". If the very smell itself is patented, we're pretty much out of business. If Yankee Candle patented, say, the smell of vanilla, then nobody could make a vanila-scented candle.

      Already the large candle companies are trademarking names for their fragrances ri
  • Next thing you know they will be patenting plants...

  • by euxneks ( 516538 ) on Thursday October 07, 2004 @01:14AM (#10457223)
    McDonald's patents the smell of grease! (+1 Insightful)

    Microsoft patents the smell of money! (+1 Funny)

    Your local movie theatre patents the smell of urine! (+1 Informative)

    SCO patents the smell of shit! (-1 redundant)

    Bah... I won't quit my day job.. Wait! I don't have one!
  • Prior Art (Score:3, Informative)

    by ImaLamer ( 260199 ) <john,lamar&gmail,com> on Thursday October 07, 2004 @01:15AM (#10457236) Homepage Journal
    Wouldn't everything that can be thought of already be covered under prior art?

    God, nature, what have you, will already have all the prior art claims he/she/it wants.

    From TFA:

    Enter the October 4, 2004 announcement that two Americans were awarded the Nobel Prize in medicine for discovering how people can recognize and remember an estimated 10,000 smells, ranging from smelly garbage to expensive perfume.

    The two researchers, Dr. Richard Axel and Linda B. Buck, won the prize for scientifically describing how odor-sensing proteins in the nose translate specific tastes and smells into information in the brain.

    Their breakthrough stemmed from a 1991 discovery of a family of genes devoted to producing different odor-sensing proteins, called receptors, in the nose. Their work showed that people have a few hundred types of odor receptors, each of which can detect only a limited number of odors.

    When a person sniffs cologne or fresh chocolate chip cookies, for example, a mix of different types of molecules flows over the receptors in the back of the nose. That activates an array of the receptors, but only those primed to respond to those particular molecules. The brain notes which receptors are activated, and interprets this pattern as the smell.

    Besides... how can you patent my nose and its functions?
  • Here here (Score:2, Funny)

    by aarku ( 151823 )
    I, for one, will be searching the stars tonight using my smelloscope [gotfuturama.com] to find new odors to patent.
  • by example42 ( 760044 ) on Thursday October 07, 2004 @01:17AM (#10457244)
    The patenting of smells doesn't worry me so much since patents expire quickly (14 years IIRC). Trademarks on the other hand are perpetual and pose another intellectual property land mine. I'm sure we are all familiar with the International Olympic Committee being totally evil in "protecting" their trademarks. It would be most unfortunate to have Starbucks swing a huge legal hammer at small coffee vendors whose coffee smells similar.
  • by jfengel ( 409917 ) on Thursday October 07, 2004 @01:18AM (#10457252) Homepage Journal
    The most objectionable software patents are so dumb because they seem to fail the "obviousness" test. To be patented, a thing (it used to be a device) had to be useful, novel, and non-obvious. Online shopping carts and one-click shopping strike everybody here as obvious; the ones with the patent aren't the first ones with the idea but merely the first ones with the money to put together a patent.

    But not everybody can create a new smell. Well, given the hygiene and dietary standards famous to Slashdotters I'm sure that new smells are created all the time, but I assure you nobody wants those smells. To create a new perfume requires a highly expert skill set. The same applies to food; blending the right chocolate, wine, or coffee is a job for an expert.

    I assume that means coming up with a reproduceable smell. I can't imagine you could walk in with something you threw together and say, "I patent this! Nobody else can have it!" without at least being able to describe what it is and how you got it.

    I don't know how they're going to judge "distance". In copyrights I imagine that they have some sort of measurement for when a new work is derivative of an old one. I can't pick up a copy of John Grisham's The Jury and change a few letters and copyright it. Similarly I hope nobody would be able to walk in with "This is just like Chanel No. 5 except I added some vanilla extract".

    Actually, that would smell kind of nice. But there are getting to be some potentially stupid gray areas, where things are similar, but it's hard to quantify how similar because smells and tastes are a lot harder to examine than inventions and books.
    • In copyrights I imagine that they have some sort of measurement for when a new work is derivative of an old one.

      No. They use sourcing, and sourcing alone. A derivative work is literally what that word means, a work derived from another.

      If you produce a work that happens to be similar to another, but can prove you've never even seen it (removing the possibility of deriving anything), then you will also have a copyright. There is a famous, and old, case of two musicians coming up with the same tune, and th
  • Hopefully, prior art will begin to be more important. But honestly, I can't see the wonderful folks at the USPTO trying to figure out whether a certain smell is "McDonald's French Fries" or "Wendy's French Fries". This worries me on so many levels, as it just sems to open up the door for more rediculous litigation.

    And of course, the patents will go through regardless of prior art, because, honestly, how are those patent stampers supposed to know that the patent description in technical terms just happens

  • ...I guess that means while I won't spend much at the Taco Bell drive-thru, I'll get nailed on the royalty payments about 2-3 hours later!

  • by alannon ( 54117 ) on Thursday October 07, 2004 @01:22AM (#10457277)
    Smell Trademark [inter-lawyer.com] I remember reading about this a year or two ago.
    • by lothar97 ( 768215 ) * <owen@smi[ ]ski.org ['gel' in gap]> on Thursday October 07, 2004 @01:39AM (#10457348) Homepage Journal
      European law and US law obviously are different. According to the article you cited, there's an interesting tidbit. To register a trademark in the EU, you need a graphical representation. You have to show the mark, and describe it if need be (such as the case for the color orange for cell phones, you just describe the color). I'm not sure how you graphically represent a smell. TFA mentions describing "rose scent for tyres [UK]," but rejects Chanel No. 5, since although they did describe the general smell and its ingredients, you could not get a full idea of the smell.
      • (I'm also an IP lawyer)
        There aren't many smell TM's in Europe either but the CTM legislation specifically provides for smells.
        OHIM treats a verbal description of a smell as an adequate graphical representation for the purposes of trademark registration so long as it is decriptive and unambiguous. If it were litigated on litigants would wheel out all those perfumiers as expert witnesses who, like wine snobs, would presumably talk about "nosey acidic wood" or somesuch.

        Smell registrations are registrable in

      • how do you "describe" the color orange? there are an infinite number of shades approaching colors on the other sides of whatever color wheel its on, are they all orange also?

        why is all this stupid shit even considered reasonable as enforceable and taken seriously by the gov't/court system at all in any way?

  • Coffee (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 07, 2004 @01:26AM (#10457292)
    One of my friends that works for a large multinational food company told me that the nice "fresh coffee" smell you get when you open up a brand new jar of instant coffee is actually sprayed on at the last stage of the production process.

    Seems like that particular signature would be a likely candiate for a trademark.
  • Copyright and trademark works with relatively little objection, because there are very many ways to write a novel, compose a piece of music, and (to a lesser extent) design a trademark, so even if one of the ways is monopolized by copyright/trademark, the scope for innovation does not decrease significantly.

    And the problem many have with most software patents (and many in other fields too) is that they cover one of very few good ways of doing something, or the idea of doing some obvious thing itself, so o

  • by weighn ( 578357 ) <weighn&gmail,com> on Thursday October 07, 2004 @01:33AM (#10457324) Homepage
    so my colleagues can be issued with a cease and desist
  • by nolife ( 233813 ) on Thursday October 07, 2004 @01:58AM (#10457410) Homepage Journal
    Considering the US only produces a small fraction of the physical goods that it used to, the only thing businesses and our economy can compete with for actual generation of money in the global economy is IP (copyright, tradmark, patents etc). I see it as a big gamble or some type of last ditch attempt to give the US some type of advantage over the rest of the world as the manufactoring of real products is all but gone and not coming back. Can the US actually create and secure more IP then the rest of the world and sustain itself from the money that might flow in with it? I see the IP laws following this trend and I assume it will get much worse in the power grab. As I see it, IP can only support a much smaller crowd or group of people then real property does as you do not a large support structure to create it and maintain it.
  • Like my wife patenting the smell of my body odour and then suing me into the shower.
  • I'm investing everything in whichever the hell company it is that makes those whoopy cushions.

  • This is a really bad idea. Simply because a taste or smell can be clearly defined doesn't make it patentable. You can't patent colors or sounds, which can both be clearly defined, so why should you be able to patent smells or tastes? Eventually, this may lead to the patenting of feelings or sensations, or, stretching it a bit, emotions or thoughts. Ridiculous. Just because something is quantifiable doesn't make it patentable. (ps: I also think gene patenting is a bad idea, but that's a whole other can
    • ...And nor can you trademark colors or soundwaves. You can trademark specific patterns of colors or soundwaves that are distinguishable as distinct and recognizable symbols, but smell and taste are both far too vague to have similar applications. Taste and smell are too rudimentary a pair of senses to function as specific symbols (to an unaided human not using this newly-discovered technique), and thus should not be considered viable as trademarks or copyrights, or any sort of intellectual property.
  • For a second there, I thought it said:

    IP's Next Big Wave - Taste & Smell P.... eehh... nevermind.

  • who base their whole business model on patent, search and sue.

    How about patenting the phrase F*CK YOU.

    Maybe I should patent a rotten egg smell. Then every time someone farts, they will owe me $50 or I'll sue their ass, litterally.

  • by jd ( 1658 )
    SCO announced today that it now holds the patent for the sweet smell of success. When asked if this meant they were going to bring a new product to market, using this, a spokesman was quoted as saying "Hell no - we just want to sue the pants off anybody who might be infringing on it."
  • ... here come the "tastes like chicken" jokes..
  • The real bit is when someone takes that Nobel-winning work and patents the act of smelling things. Every unlicensed nasal inhalation, also known as a "sniff" will be a violation of their patent.

    Mouth breathers will be exempt.

    - Greg
  • Now that people have patented genes. Someone maght as well patent urine, and have us pay royalities everytime we make it.
  • Here's one (Score:4, Funny)

    by Klowner ( 145731 ) on Thursday October 07, 2004 @02:49AM (#10457584) Homepage
    I'll call it "Hobo Stink" and slap all those guys on street corners with IP infringement lawsuits, then I'll yank the bucket of change out of their hands and split, it'll rule. And I'll invest in cardboard signs before I start doing that too, oh and, money buckets.
  • The BS economy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Saeger ( 456549 ) <farrellj@gmaiMENCKENl.com minus author> on Thursday October 07, 2004 @03:12AM (#10457636) Homepage
    Does it seem to anybody else that fewer and fewer people are actually doing actual useful work these days (yay productivity-gain hoarding! not), and thus if you're not unemployed you're increasingly likely to be producing new kinds of bullshit for newly created bullshit markets?

    Instead of trying to create yet another kind of BS "intellectual property" in the form of taste & smell patents, we should be reevaluating our fucked up socio-economics. Everybody wants to feel useful and justify their existence I guess... whether you're a bogus patent peddler, a dead-weight manager, a yoga instructor, or a herbal supplement phony.


    • The progress of the human race has long been dominated by the top X%, where "X" is some rather small number. Much of the rest, in progress terms, have mostly just come along for the ride.

      (Which doesn't mean they are necessarily useless; anybody who, like me, doesn't want to be a garbage man, sewer man, or janitor should have great respect for those who are. I mean that, literally. But there is a definite distinction between those who are doing real work for the team, and those slacking off. It's hard to te
  • by Doomsdaisy ( 90430 ) on Thursday October 07, 2004 @03:17AM (#10457649)
    Since dogs have a sense of smell that is somewhere between 10k and 100k times better than our own, could you define your smell as significantly different than a pattented or trademarked smell based upon a dog's ability to tell the difference? I mean, couldn't you train a dog to recognize the difference between what us humans would regard as identical smells?

    This raises the question - do our own limited senses define what is and isn't patent infringement, or is the truth more concrete?
  • by Pecisk ( 688001 ) on Thursday October 07, 2004 @03:34AM (#10457676)
    I'm not a economy specialist or the lawyer, but such things which shows tad all IP is going to the extremes - coorporations want to be everything owned by someone. I personally thing they won't succeed - but it will be along fight before some sanity shows up in this situation. Before that, I give myself a half a laugh, half a shiver about all that. It is scary as it is funny to see how they try to run for money - oh, yes, it is needed for living, but not so much. Oh, ok, whatever...tired from all this.
  • Someone patent "silent but deadly" before Microsoft does!
  • ...bomb us back into the stone-age. "civilization" has gone too far.
  • And cigarette and cigar manufacturers will enter the fray, adding layers of protection to the "flavor" that accompanies their image in the marketplace.

    Now, if someone can patent the smell of nicotine, or the stale smell of cigarette smoke, they can put the tobacco companies out of business.

  • "So Mr and Mrs Smith, you want to have kids? Mrs Smith you were born from a Monsanto engineered egg in fertility treatment? ah, in that case they'll require a license fee for reproduction."

    "Sir, im closing your hot dog stand down, you don't have a license to publicly serve that mustard, only a home license!"

    "Police today raided the home of a 68 year old woman involved in illigal cookie piracy. She is currently being charged with distribution to a number of local children."

    "License to grow apples, thats $
  • There are famous cases of 3D shapes being trademarked, such as the Jif lemon, and the Cocoa-cola bottle. At one time, printer companies wanted to claim that the shape of their printer cartridges was a 3-D trademark and so could not be copied. However, 3D trademarks are a lot harder to establish than 2-D ones - some of them had to be around for 50 years - so I don't think this worked.

    I believe there is a US sewing thread company has trademarked a peach (?) smell on its product. If course, we will not know

  • . . . as would be the ability to patent a color. Now that smell is as quantifiable via parameters as color is via wavelength, I would think this would tend to close the door on patentability. Of course, it is never wise to underestimate the malfeasance of our "represenative" lawmakers when in the presence of the smell of fresh cash.
  • Oh how I do love the smell of napalm in the morning.
  • Receptor patterning opens the door for a variety of new patenting possibilities...

    That's like patenting a musical chord.
  • Nuff said

  • As I understand it our senses of taste and smell are essentially based on detecting the actual physical shape of molecules, because it when a physical shape (say a plug) matches a physical receptor for that shape (say a socket) something goes "bing" and you get x taste or smell.

    As an aside there is a known medical condition where people's senses are crosswired in their heads and smells trigger taste reactions, I remember an old case of brain surgery where taste and auditory was crosswired and a drop of vin
  • That would probably make a great air freshener for my car.
  • roses for my wife
    poo for spammers

    seriously.... I cannot wait hexediting flavours and smells ...

    I cannot wait getting spam that smells like cat piss :( advertising peach scented odour remover :)

    I cannot wait playing doom 5 on ps4 with all the scent/flavour/vibrating sensors being stuffed into my sensing organs ....
    smell the rotten flesh, the taste of your own blood .... and being shocked by electric contacts and burnt by tiny lighters ..... yuck
  • It's been more than a hundred years since each of these issues were settled by American law, by a lawsuit issued by Coca Cola against Pepsi and a lawsuit issued by Channel against a now-defunct perfume maker. Neither scents nor flavors may enjoy any form of legal protection more complex than a trade secret.
  • I am going to patent the smell of my socks..
  • From Thomas Frey? If you take one look at his web sites you'll see he's a fantastic dreamer who distorts facts to fit his utopia future. He also never finishes anything! Whatever happened to that book of future inventions he was composing? It made the news, was featured prominently on their site, and then once all the press had left the page changed to "well we WERE going to do a book BUT now we don't think we will".

    This guy has no track record. So what if he earned awards at IBM? That doesn't make him an

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