BGH: Regional designations of origin can be protected | Image header

BGH: Regional designations of origin can be protected

Regional designations of origin already exist in various areas: whether Kobe beef from Japan, Allgäu mountain cheese or Lübeck marzipan. Now the Federal Court of Justice (BGH) has also issued a ruling for so-called collective marks under German law. Read more about it in this post!

Verdict: Not all pigs are created equal

The corresponding judgment deals with various meat products in which the origin of the animal plays a role. In particular, it is about the names “Hohenloher Landschwein” and “Hohenloher Weiderind”, which a country butchery uses for its products – although they do not comply with the relevant guidelines at all. This involves specifications, for example, on keeping, feeding, transport and slaughter.

Background to the judgment

The Schwäbisch Hall Farmers’ Association (BESH) took legal action because they registered these designations as collective trademarks. However, the lawyer for the butcher’s shop argued that a producers’ association could not simply register a collective mark under German law if it did not simultaneously obtain an entry as a geographically protected indication under European law. The background to the argument is the different criteria that Germany and the European Union use when evaluating collective marks

Collective trademarks under German law strengthened by judgment

The BGH contradicted this with its final ruling after a revision of the ruling of the same wording by the Stuttgart Higher Regional Court. This decision is likely to have far-reaching consequences for thousands of collective trademarks under German law and strengthens them.

BESH is pleased with the decision and made the following comment: “The BGH decision is a good day for consumer protection and a good day for the rights of farmers, who invest a great deal of effort into keeping animals properly, healthy forage and slaughtering, etc. produce high-quality regional products! If meat is offered as Hohenlohe pasture cattle, then it must also come from Hohenlohe and also from grazing! ”

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