European Commission Agrees That “Emmental” is Generic
September 4th, 2018
CCFN is awaiting a decision from the European Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) on a request from Emmentaler Switzerland to trademark the term “emmental”, but we have received a positive sign from the European Commission, which has agreed that the term is generic. The Swiss group filed its request in December 2017 for protected designation of origin status for “emmental” – or in the German language, “emmentaler”. CCFN filed comments registering concerns about preserving the generic status of the term, which is also a standard under the international Codex Alimentarius. The European Commission, asked recently to comment on this contentious application, noted that while the matter remained pending with the relevant authorities, “The Commission is however confident that the EUIPO in assessing the application in question, will fully take into account the fact that the term in the EU is considered to be generic and is contained in a number of EU geographical indications protected as compound names (e.g. ‘Emmental de Savoie’, ‘Allgäuer Emmentaler’).” It’s refreshing to see even the EC recognize the importance of preserving certain common names; a logical next step would be for that principle to be applied more consistently.