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Protection of Geographic Indications and Designations of Origin in the Queso Manchego Case

Fausto Capelli, Barbara Klaus

Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) again decides on the extent of the scope of protection for geographical indications and designations of origin for agricultural products and foodstuffs and confirms that the ban of any misuse, imitation or evocation shall be interpreted very widely
1. Article 13(1)(b) of Council Regulation (EC) No 510/2006 of 20 March 2006 on the protection of geographical indications and designations of origin for agricultural products and foodstuffs must be interpreted as meaning that a registered name may be evoked through the use of figurative signs. 2. Article 13(1)(b) of Regulation No 510/2006 must be interpreted as meaning that the use of figurative signs evoking the geographical area with which a designation of origin, as referred to in Article 2(1)(a) of that regulation, is associated may constitute evocation of that designation, including where such figurative signs are used by a producer established in that region, but whose products, similar or comparable to those protected by the designation of origin, are not covered by it. 3. The concept of the average consumer who is reasonably well informed and reasonably observant and circumspect, to whose perception the national court has to refer in order to assess whether there is ‘evocation’ within the meaning of Article 13(1)(b) of Regulation No 510/2006, must be understood as covering European consumers, including consumers of the Member State in which the product giving rise to evocation of the protected name is made or with which that name is geographically associated and in which the product is mainly consumed.

Prof Fausto Capelli is Professor of European Law at the Collegio europeo, University of Parma, and a lawyer specialized in European Law and International Law, Member of the Editorial Board of EFFL, editor of the Italian Review ‘Diritto comunitario e degli scambi internazionali’, and co-editor of the Italian Review ‘Rivista giuridica dell’ambiente’. Dr Barbara Klaus is Partner at Rödl & Partner, Nürnberg-Milan. She has detailed expertise and experience in the European and International law; the focus of her work lies in food law. She is admitted to practice as a lawyer in both Germany and Italy.


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