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Trademark, yes

Assuming this is true:

the Consortiums cannot overcome what the record makes clear: cheese consumers in the United States understand ‘gruyère’ to refer to a type of cheese, which renders the term generic.”

If it’s generic, cannot be trademarked.

Cheeses made outside Switzerland and France can now carry the name gruyère in the US after a recent court ruling put an end to Europe’s monopoly on the product.

The decision from the US appeals court in Virginia on Friday is being hailed as a major victory for US dairy farmers amidst ongoing battles between European and American producers on the rights to use common food names like parmesan, bologna, asiago and fontina.

It’s a matter of who uses the language to mean what. If people do use it as a generic then it cannot be a trademark. Which is why you used to 0 I’ve not seen one for a decade or two – see letters to the Editor.

“Sirs, Bic and Biro and registered trademarks and must be used as such” when some sub had allowed a writer to say bic or biro. Because to stop it becoming a generic you’ve got to do exactly that. Protest about people doing so.

and the label Champagne, which must be produced in the Champagne region of France in order to carry the name. Rules in the US are much more relaxed.

Of course, they never did ratify Versailles…..

9 thoughts on “Trademark, yes”

  1. Steve across the Pond

    I’m proud to say that until I’d seen these stories, I had never heard of gruyère cheese. I prefer American cheeses, like mozzarella and brie.

  2. It seems the EU position is that if US companies (Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon, just for starters) do business in the EU, they must follow EU laws, and that sounds fair. If EU companies do business in the US, the EU position is that the US must allow them to follow EU laws, and impose EU laws on their domestic businesses. At which point, I suppose the correct US response involves sex and travel.

  3. I do sympathise with your position on this one dcardno.

    As for Versailles, if I’d been a US senator, I wouldn’t have ratified it either. Though I think the clauses which established the League of Nations without the Yanks ratifying it were an idea the Brits and Frogs should have refused to accept.

  4. “I’m proud to say that until I’d seen these stories, I had never heard of gruyère cheese. I prefer American cheeses, like mozzarella and brie.“
    “ There was a smiley emoji on that comment, but it sadly got removed.”

    Several years ago I visited the ‘Paris’ plastic replica mega hotel in Las Vegas. It was splendid to see the gents toilets labelled ‘misures’. No doubt Gruyère cheese will be genericised as ‘Grooyeah’ over there.

  5. It’s all just too, too exquisite, really

    This French champagne


    So good for the brain
    That’s what I was gonna say!

    You know you’re a brilliant fellow?

    Thank you

    Drink up, chap.

    “What a Swell Party This is.” By Cole Porter

  6. Of course, they never did ratify Versailles…..

    I believe President Obama banned new entrants into the US Champagne production industry, only allowing then-current producers to use the name.

  7. A bit of confusion. ‘Champagne’ is not a trademark but an AOC… Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée or Protégée

    AOC means the stages of production and processing of an agricultural product must be carried out in a specified geographic area to carry the protected name.

    Thus if you buy a Parma ham, import it to Britain, slice and package it, it cannot be labelled ‘Parma Ham’ even though it is. Only ham produced, sliced and packaged in Parma can be labelled ‘Parma Ham’.

    The object of AOC is largely to protect jobs in agriculture and processing, and take the added value in-Country.

    It is partly why live exports of animals goes on. A British or Irish sheep which has been transported to France, after it has munched grass for a few days becomes French and can be labelled ‘VOF’ – Viande Origine France.

  8. @dcardno

    The US position is often that US laws apply everywhere in the world, so it’s fair enough if they get a taste of their own medicine.

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