Trademark Significance of Geographic Indications

Tom Smith

Issues of the geographic indications of items consistently switch up in the trademark context. Some very well-recognized illustrations include COGNAC for brandy from France or ROQUEFORT for cheese manufactured from sheep’s milk only, and treated in the all-natural caves of the neighborhood of Roquefort, section of Aveyron, France. Notable U.S. […]

Issues of the geographic indications of items consistently switch up in the trademark context. Some very well-recognized illustrations include COGNAC for brandy from France or ROQUEFORT for cheese manufactured from sheep’s milk only, and treated in the all-natural caves of the neighborhood of Roquefort, section of Aveyron, France. Notable U.S. geographic indications include things like Florida oranges, Idaho potatoes, and Washington State apples.

Geographic Indications

Geographical indications are thought of a subset of logos, and they serve equivalent capabilities as source identifiers and proof of the product’s quality. As certification and collective marks, the United States Patent and Trademark Office protects geographical indications of either domestic or overseas origin via the trademark program.

Notably, the United States does not safeguard generic geographic conditions for merchandise or products and services. A geographic phrase is regarded as generic when it is so broadly utilized that buyers do not view the mark as a geographic sign, but instead as a classification of products and products and services.

Trademark Significance

Just previous yr, the U.S. Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) found that “gruyere” is a generic name for a sort of cheese and simply cannot be registered as a certification mark. Int’l Dairy Foodstuff Assn. v. Interprofession du Gruyère & Syndicat Interprofessionel du Gruyère, No. 91232427 (T.T.A.B., entered August 5, 2020). In that case, Swiss and French associations sought registration of the certification mark to stop the use of the time period Gruyere for cheese that did not originate in the region of Gruyère. The endeavor was rejected following the TTAB found that people did not associate the phrase with the area.

Another intriguing example in the news recently is a dispute in Canada in which the Scotch Whisky Affiliation (SWA) is suing Macaloney’s Caledonian Distillery in Saanich, a district municipality on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, for the use of the phrases Caledonian and Macaloney. The SWA’s enforcement procedures centre about the importance and renown of “Scotch Whiskey.” In this distinct dispute, the SWA argues that Scottish indications cannot be applied about a products that is not created in Scotland. According to the SWA’s website, by way of its international enforcement actions, it will make certain that solutions do not just take benefit of the popularity of Scotland’s national consume.


©2021 Norris McLaughlin P.A., All Rights Reserved
Nationwide Regulation Review, Volume XI, Variety 113

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