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Now in its twelfth year, Class 46 is dedicated to European trade mark law and practice. This weblog is written by a team of enthusiasts who want to spread the word and share their thoughts with others.

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Swiss take Feta hostage

The Swiss would like the term "Emmentaler" to be reserved for cheese coming from, well, the Emmental (a very beautiful valley in Switzerland), or at the least from Switzerland. The EU has so far refused to grant "Emmentaler" protected geographical status, because in many EU member states, any cheese with large holes is referred to as "Emmentaler" (in fact, about 10 times more "Emmentaler" is produced in the EU than in Switzerland). The Swiss are not pleased about this.

On the other hand, the term "Feta" is a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) in the EU since 2005 (after a protracted legal battle, the details of which I'll spare you). Feta must come from Greece if it is to be sold in the EU.

Switzerland is not bound by the applicable EU law, though. The Swiss refuse so far to protect Feta as a protected designation of origin under equivalent Swiss laws. Without saying it in so many words, the Swiss authorities are unlikely to grant protection to Feta as long as Emmental is not granted equal status in the EU. Poor Feta is taken hostage to bargain for protection of Emmentaler in the EU.

Posted by: Mark Schweizer @ 14.04
Tags: eu commission, Geographical indications, Protected Designations of Origin, Switzerland,
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