”What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet” (Quote from Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare, ca. 1600)

It sort of felt like we have come full circle when I just yesterday heard a radio commercial for ”Roses with Names”. This refers to a selection of cut roses sold under a ’name’ to make certain that a client’s next purchase will be the same in terms of smell and colour, thus defying the Shakespearean quote of generic roses and their scents. A rose by any other name may not smell as sweet as the one originally purchased.

Our brains are geared towards detecting and understanding smells. It may originally have been a survival function, to avoid certain poisonous plants or caves inhabited by dangerous predators. Now the connection is more a matter of a nostalgic memory of grandmother’s lavender scented cupboards or that first awkward kiss by a young man wearing way too much Brut 33.

For a trademark attorney the connection brain, choice and scent  makes perfect sense. A trademark, as a name, logo, colour or even a sound mark, is the bearer of goodwill, marketing value and for certain product segments indeed scent. It is a well-known fact that in most cases with everyday, low cost, purchases the consumer will make split second decisions when their hands reach for the product they are after, be it shampoo, detergent, fabric softener or an air freshener. Typically, the reason for their choice of this kind of product is the scent and the sense of wellbeing that it brings. Some prefer the basic scents of lemon, sea breeze or forest/pine, whereas others are more geared towards newfangled scents such as Orchid Allure, Blue Iris & Bamboo, Apple Mango Tango or Bacon (yep it does exist). 

With the chances of a future possibility to also protect scents as trademarks, it may be an idea to be ready to act. The future is coming up roses…

// Lena Ericsson