With all the hot and high-tech toys out there for your kid, it’s amazing that Play-Doh still sells about 500 million cans per year. Though the modeling clay was marketed as “fun to play with not to eat,” it was also something you could never really un-smell. The scent isn’t just the signature fragrance of most parents by proxy, but it might also be their secret weapon. At the very least, it’s one they’re attempting to trademark.
In an application submitted to the U.S. Patent And Trademark Office (USPTO), Hasbro describes the distinct smell as “a unique scent formed through the combination of a sweet, slightly musky, vanilla-like fragrance, with slight overtones of cherry, and the natural smell of a salted, wheat-based dough.” So don’t even try to describe your latest homebrew like that or you could get the suds sued right out of you.
Surprisingly, placing legal protections on a smell is not unheard of. In 1990 the flowery aroma of yarn was the first trademark of this kind. And over the years, bubblegum sandals, piña colada ukeleles, and musky Verizon stores have made USPTO’s list. So, adding Play-Doh is a pretty short leap. But just in case Hasbro sent a container of Play-Doh with their application, to sweeten (and salt) the deal.
The law firm Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz PC, which represents Hasbro in the filing, explained to Mashable that Hasbro already has “common law trademark rights.” So with this new filing, they’re mostly simply making it official on a federal level for added protections. This may make your plans for a silly scented candle company go down in flames, but look on the bright side: You can still buy your spouse the Play-Doh perfume she never wanted … and no one likes scented candles anyways.
[H/T] The Independent