Have you ever consumed any of the following products?
Scotch, Champagne, Cognac, Parma-Ham, Cumberland Sausage, Worcestershire Sauce, Cornish Pasties, Melton Mowbray pork-pies; Cheddar, Feta, Wensleydale, or Parmesan cheese.
OK, not all at the same time. But the eagle-eyed amongst you may notice a connection between these gout-inducing delicacies. These are not Registered Trademarks as such, but:
‘Protected geographical foodstuffs’
In simple terms:
Companies can only use the name of a specific area if the product is actually from that area.
The European Commission put this protection in place to ensure the promotion of niche products, particularly those from rural areas. This, in turn would improve farmers’ incomes and help to retain the population in rural areas. Not to mention giving the customer clear information regarding the origin of the product.
According to Wikipedia:
“The purpose of the law is to protect the reputation of the regional foods, promote rural and agricultural activity, help producers obtain a premium price for their authentic products, and eliminate the unfair competition and misleading of consumers by non-genuine products, which may be of inferior quality or of different flavour.”
More recently, in In 2013: Lakeland Herdwick meat (known for their Herdwick Lamb) received a Protected Designation of Origin from the European Union. There is also talk of Birmignham’s famous ‘Balti‘ being awarded this illustrious honour.
Since the Brexit vote, the UK may soon be able to name their ‘sparkling wine‘ the more oxymoronic ‘English Champagne,‘ for example.
For advice and more information on the world of trademarking, contact Classic Lines Design.