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Judge pokes holes in Swiss cheesemakers’ legal arguments

A consortium of Swiss and French cheesemakers from the region around Gruyeres, Switzerland,...
A consortium of Swiss and French cheesemakers from the region around Gruyeres, Switzerland, sued in U.S. District Court in Virginia after the federal Trademark Trials and Appeals Board denied an application for trademark protection.(WRDW)
Published: Jan. 11, 2022 at 12:35 PM EST
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FALLS CHURCH, Va. (WWBT) - A federal judge has ruled that Gruyere cheese does not have to come from the Gruyere region of Europe to be sold under the gruyere name.

A consortium of Swiss and French cheesemakers from the region around Gruyeres, Switzerland, sued in U.S. District Court in Virginia after the federal Trademark Trials and Appeals Board denied an application for trademark protections.

The consortium said gruyere has been made to exacting standards in the region since the 12th century and cheese other places can’t truly be called gruyere. But the judge agreed with domestic cheesemakers who argued that American consumers view gruyere as a generic term.

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