The makers of Play-Doh got a trademark — for the smell of it?

By Amy E. Feldman, Judge Technology Solutions
PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — It's been 65 years since Play-Doh was created - roughly five minutes before the first parent had to scrape it out of the carpet.

But it took until 2018 for Hasbro to be granted a trademark; not for the squishy putty, but for its smell, which Hasbro's petition described as "sweet, slightly musky, vanilla fragrance, with slight overtones of cherry, combined with the smell of a salted, wheat-based dough." 

Come to think of it, that is what it smells like.

While brands regularly trademark their names, logos, or slogans, very few so far have successfully trademarked an odor. That's because of patent law that says in order to register a smell, you have to show that it serves no important practical function other than to identify and distinguish the brand. 

So, a perfume, whose only purpose is its smell, won't qualify. Nor will a food scent like those pumped out by food kiosks at the mall, who use it to sell you the food you think you're smelling. 

But since the smell of Play-Doh doesn't really have anything to do with its purpose, the United States Patent and Trademark Office granted the trademark.  

I love the smell of Play-Doh in the morning - sounds like five minutes of peace and quiet.