Hasbro Successfully Trademarks The Smell Of Play-Doh

May 21, 2018


Because smoke 'em if you got 'em, Hasbro has successfully trademarked the smell of Play-Doh. Trademarked scents must be proven to "serve no important practical function other than to help identify and distinguish a brand. The smell of an air freshener or a women's perfume wouldn't count, for example." Interesting. In Hasbro's own words while I cash in on the fact they didn't trademark the taste and start selling Play-Doh flavored gum and lollipops in grocery store check-out lanes:

The trademarked scent, which Hasbro formally describes 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, makes the PLAY-DOH brand one of the few active and certainly most famous scent trademarks in the country...

"The scent of PLAY-DOH compound has always been synonymous with childhood and fun," said Jonathan Berkowitz, senior vice president of Global Marketing for the PLAY-DOH brand. "By officially trademarking the iconic scent, we are able to protect an invaluable point of connection between the brand and fans for years to come."

Did you know Play-Doh was originally marketed as a wallpaper cleaner, but so many children liked to play with it that it was rebranded as a toy? That's true. Kind of reminds me of how I used to play with bleach when I was a kid. It made my fingers feel so slippery! Why is that not a toy? "Because it'll kill you." But I'm not dead. "You sure?" No I am not.

Thanks again to James M, who agrees it's only a matter of time until Tide Pods are branded a toy/after school snack.

  • The_Wretched

    I won't touch the stuff due to the smell. I can't(can) believe they do it intentionally.

  • Chris J

    Vanilla certainly but I have never once thought play-doh had 'cherry overtones'. More just a publicity stunt than brand protection I feel.

  • TheQiwiMan

    AHA! I always suspected GW was a powerful Lich!

  • Meh

    This makes no sense to me. You can trademark like a recipe or keep it secret, like Coca Cola. But how can someone trademark something so objective as smell.

  • GeneralDisorder

    I guess they're just saying you can't intentionally replicate the smell.

  • Munihausen

    You can protect under trademark words, stylized designs, sounds (e.g., Intel Chime), smells, colors (e.g., John Deere green), and product configurations.

    Recipes, like that of Coca Cola, are often protected under trade secret, which is a different form of IP.

  • Jenness

    But there are other things that smell like play doh - so really you can't regulate this. Very interesting that it was a wallpaper cleaner though - that's neat.

  • Big Dog on Krampus

    you just know this is gonna throw off Think Geek's line of Play-Doh scented 20-sided die or whatever

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