HealthLawProf Blog

Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Case Western Reserve University School of Law

Monday, December 6, 2021

With Eyes to See and Ears to Beer: Navigating Multisensory Intellectual Property Rights in the Craft Beer Industry

Mark Edward Blankenship Jr. (Yeshiva University), With Eyes to See and Ears to Beer: Navigating Multisensory Intellectual Property Rights in the Craft Beer Industry, 21 Wake Forest J. Bus. & Intell. Prop. L. 395 (2021):

Gastrophysics is an interdisciplinary science that aims to uncover how the sensory input relates to the material composition and properties of food and its absorption in the human body. Within the field is a newly developed concept called sonic seasoning, which is the cross-modal relationship between one’s perception of taste and the sounds that person hears. The concept of sonic seasoning was facilitated by changing attitudes in music and innovative perspectives of musical notation throughout history. Furthermore, new discoveries on music’s effects on the senses have led to numerous brands across the globe to develop multisensory craft beers and other alcoholic beverages as a way of attracting consumers. 

The biggest obstacle is determining which area of intellectual property is the best form of protection for multisensory goods that create sonic seasoning effects, especially in the highly saturated craft beer industry. The infusion of music into these kinds of goods can lead to copyright, trade secret, and trademark complications. In selecting the best approach, lawyers need to additionally take into consideration what is best for not only consumers, but the musicians and copyright holders of the music that is used to create such cross-modal effects. Another factor to consider is that the science behind these cross-modal effects is still being researched. 

https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/healthlawprof_blog/2021/12/with-eyes-to-see-and-ears-to-beer-navigating-multisensory-intellectual-property-rights-in-the-craft-.html

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