Vacherin Mont-d'Or is a protected designation of origin (PDO) in Switzerland and the EU for a soft cheese from raw milk made in the Swiss/French Jura. A cheese producer from the eastern part of Switzerland makes a cheese that tastes and looks similar to Vacherin Mont-d'Or - it is also sold in a wooden ring, although not in a wooden box typical for Vacherin Mont-d'Or - but marketed under a completely different name ("Krümmenwsiler Försterkäse"). The association of Vacherin Mont-d'Or sued.
The Federal Administrative Court had to decide whether the protection conferred by a PDO is limited to the verbal element actually registered or also extends to the description of the product. It held that the object of protection is the registered verbal element, in this case Vacherin Mont-d'Or. However, when assessing the likelihood that the relevant consumers are mislead, bot the appearance of the product as well as its labelling was to be taken into account, in a kind of sliding scale. A vaguely similar verbal element could still lead to confusion if the overall appearance of the product was very similar to the product protected by the PDO.
However, in the case at thand, the verbal elements were so dissimilar - "Vacherin Mon d'Or" versus "Krümmenwsiler Försterkäse" - that the similar appearance of the products was not sufficient to mislead anybody. The PDO did not confer a monopoly on the type of product per se as long as the makers of the same product produced outside the area of the PDO did not create the impression that their products were originating from the protected area.
Full text of the judgment (German) here (not final - an appeal to the Federal Supreme Court is still possible).