Gruyere ruled as generic name for cheese


Gruyere ruled as generic name for cheese

A federal district court has upheld a decision that allows the term “gruyere” to be used as a generic type of cheese. 

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Trademark Trial and Appeal Board in August of 2020 has previously ruled against French and Swiss associations trying to certify “Gruyere” and prevent other companies from using the generic term.

The Consortium for Common Food Names, U.S. Dairy Export Council, National Milk Producers Federation, and a coalition of other dairy stakeholders were among defendants who argued the cheese should not be geographically trademarked as purchasers in the U.S. use the term as a generic type of cheese rather than one specially produced in the Gruyere region of Switzerland and France.

Legal arguments over the term have been ongoing since 2015.  Dairy leaders are calling the decision a landmark win for common food names.

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