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Alexander Anton Attorney-at-Law German Dairy Association (MIV), Brussels [email protected] PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Trademarks, Geographical Indications and Generics in cheeses. Alexander Anton Attorney-at-Law German Dairy Association (MIV), Brussels [email protected] Background. German Dairy Industry: 120 daries (coops and private companies) with 38.000 employees

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Alexander Anton Attorney-at-Law German Dairy Association (MIV), Brussels [email protected]

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Geographical Indications

and Generics in cheeses

Alexander Anton


German Dairy Association (MIV), Brussels

[email protected]

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German Dairy Industry:

120 daries (coops and private companies)

with 38.000 employees

processing the milk of 112.000 dairy farms

Alexander Anton

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Cheese production

Alexander Anton

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share of cheese production

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Imagine a world where you have to call parmesan cheese „aged hard cheese“ or where Dijon mustard would have to be marketed as „brown spicy mustard.“

C. Manly Mopus • President/ CEO of Grocery Manufacturers of America

„Protection of geographical names is a key to promote quality products and to increase transparency...

Feta cheese should not be an exception. Marketing cheese as Feta when it is not produced strictly according to its product specifications is misleading to consumers.“

Franz Fischler • former EU Commissioner

„We have no difficulty with protecting legitimate local names for cheeses such as Roquefort or Gorgonzola. But at the same time we must also recognize that some names – such as Feta, Parmesan, Emmental and Cheddar – have long been recognized as generic products by consumers around the world. The right to continue to produce and market those cheeses must be equally protected.“

Craig Norgate • CEO of New Zealand‘s Fonterra Cooperative Group

Alexander Anton

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International developments

  • Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, 1883

  • Madrid Agreement for the Repression of False or Deceptive Indications of Source on Goods, 1891

  • Lisbon Agreement for the Protection of Appellations of Origin and their International Registration, 1958

  • Stresa Convention for the Use of Appellations of Origin and Denominations of Cheeses, 1951

  • WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), 1994

Alexander Anton

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Stresa Convention 1951

  • Annex Aprotection of the origin

  • Annex Bprotection of characteristics

    = generic names

  • “denominations of cheeses in Annex B shall not be transferred to Annex A …”

Alexander Anton

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Geographical Indication (Terminology)

A geographical indication is an indication which identifies a good as originating in the territory of a Member, or a region or locality in that territory, where a given quality, reputation or other characteristic of the good is essentially attributable to its geographical origin.


Alexander Anton

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Council Regulation (EEC)No. 2081/92

(Scope: limited to certain agricultural products for which a link between product or foodstuff characteristics and geographical origin exists)

Protected Designation of Origin (PDO)

Protected Geographical Indication (PGI)

Product must beproduced andprocessed andpreparedin geographical area

Product must beproduced orprocessed orpreparedin geographical area

Alexander Anton

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PDO/PGI registration under Reg. (EEC) No. 2081/92 (cheeses)

total 154


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PDO / PGIshare of cheese production

Alexander Anton

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German GI cheeses

  • Allgäuer Bergkäse

  • Allgäuer Emmentaler

  • Altenburger Ziegenkäse

  • OdenwälderFrühstückskäse

Alexander Anton

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Generic Cheeses

Emmental, Cheddar, Gouda, Edam, Camembert, Brie, Provolone, Mozzarella... Feta (C-465/02), Parmesan (C-132/05)

Alexander Anton

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①Parmesan 2008 ?

②Feta 2007 ?

③Olmützer 2010 ?

④ Münster 2019 ?

⑤ Emmental ?

⑥Edam/Gouda ?


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Court Cases(European Court of Justice, Court of First Instance)

  • FetaC-289/96 et. al. (1999)

    C-465/02 & 466/02 et. al.

  • GorgonzolaC-87/97 (1999)

  • EmmentalC-448/98 (2000)

  • ParmesanT-197/96

    C-66/00 (2002)


  • Grana PadanoC-469/00 (2003)

  • GranaT-291/03

Alexander Anton

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Regulation (EEC) No. 2081/92

Generic names

  • Generic names may not be registered.

  • Generic name means the name of an agricultural product or foodstuff which, although it relates to the place or the region where this product or foodstuff was originally produced or marketed, has become the common name of an agricultural product or a foodstuff.

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Alexander Anton

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Regulation (EEC) No. 2081/92

List of generic names

  • In Reg. 2081/92 the Commission is askedto draw up and publish a non-exhaustive, indicative list of generic names before the entry into force of this regulation(July 24, 1993).

  • Codex Alimentarius Standard: generic names

  • Stresa Convention of 1951

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Alexander Anton

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Regulation (EEC) No. 2081/92

Statement by the Council and the Commission

„(We) stress that this Regulation is not intended to prevent the continued marketing of products legally sold within the Community on June 30, 1992, so long as they do not conflict with the criteria relating to traditional fair practice and actual likelihood for confusion.“

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Trademark, GI and Generic

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bilateral agreements CH / ...(Emmental)

Alexander Anton

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