Oct 14: A Fracas about Fragrance: Copyright’s Application to Perfume

Lunch with Charles Cronin (WCL ’85)  

American University Washington College of Law
Oct. 14, 2010 (Noon – 2pm)
Room 528
Lunch provided by IP Law Society and PIJIP



Over the past thirty years courts in France and the Netherlands have considered whether manufactured fragrances may be considered expressive works of authorship eligible for copyright protection.  Decisions in these European cases have been wildly inconsistent, prompting debate among European intellectual property scholars and practitioners on this question.  Charles Cronin will discuss his views on this matter -- which he recently published in an article for the Journal of the Copyright Society – wrapping up by airing a few perfume samples and a round of “name that fragrance”.


Charles Cronin (WCL ’85) is a musician and a lawyer in Southern California.  He is also proprietor of Buoyant Fields -- an organic farm in Santa Barbara, for the cultivation and extraction of floral essential oils.  He has an undergraduate degree from Oberlin, and an MA and PhD in musicology from Stanford.  He earned a JD from American University and a Masters in Information Systems from Berkeley.

As a fellow at Yale Law School’s Information Society Project he worked with Yale Libraries to create an interactive online resource to assist librarians in resolving copyright questions arising in their day-to-day work, and participated in the Law School’s “Library of the Future” conference (Spring 2009).  He is now working on a companion piece to his recent article on fragrance and copyright (J. Copyright Society, Winter ’08) that deals with intellectual property protection for gardens and similarly unpredictable creative endeavors.  

Cronin is also known for his creation of the Copyright Infringement Project, a project with the purpose of making universally available information about U.S. music copyright infringement cases from the mid-nineteenth century forward.  The Copyright Infringement Project was originally hosted at Columbia Law School, and now resides at the UCLA Intellectual Property Project.  For more information, see:  http://cip.law.ucla.edu/