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© Joël Le Gall / West-France in the United States, Gruyère is no longer considered Switzerland or French.
In the United States, a federal judge estimated in early January that the term Gruyère had become "generic". As a result, it has not been registered in the Register of Trademarks to reserve for products originating in Switzerland and France.
After the feta or the brie, place in Gruyère Made in USA? The French and Swiss producers of the famous Alps cheese are trying to protect the appellation but have just undergo a cured setback in front of American justice.
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a federal judge estimated last week that the term Gruyère had become "generic" in the United States, which prevents, according to him , to register it in the register of trademarks to reserve for products originating in Switzerland and France.
of the Gruyère imported from other countries
in a decision of thirty pages, TS Ellis judge stresses that American producers manufacture Gruyère in the state of Wisconsin since the 1980s, and that more than half of the Gruyère Imported to the United States between 2010 and 2020 was produced in Germany and the Netherlands.
"Decades of import, production, and sales of cheeses called Gruyère but produced outside the Gruyère region in France and Switzerland eroded the meaning of the word and made it generic» , writing he.
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Even the dictionaries do not all mention the geographical origin of this "cow's milk cheese, baked pulp forming holes" , although it appeared from the 12th century in the Alps, is the magistrate.
The interprofession of Gruyère wants to appeal
the interprofession of Gruyère, which represents the actors of the sector in Switzerland, and the interprofessional union of Gruyère, its French, have notified on Monday their intention to appeal this decision on Monday.
For them, the Gruyère, which enjoys appellations of origin protected in both countries, "is carefully manufactured from local and natural ingredients, using traditional methods that provide the link between the region of Origin and the quality of the final product ».
"Cheese made in Wisconsin can not reproduce the unique taste of the true Gruyère does in Switzerland or France" , they wrote in their original complaint.
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A "much wider" battle
on the American side, the actors in the sector have guided another "a historic victory" . And, in a statement, they took note for the future: this decision "establishes a precedent in a much wider battle about the names of food products in the United States" .
The European Union had attempted to obtain protections for about 200 products associated with its territories (County, Chablis, Parmesan, Bolognese, etc.), during the negotiations for a free trade treaty between Europe and the United States. United (TAFTA) who finally stumbled.
In the absence of an agreement, the case by case prevails: if the Greek FETA or the Chablis have already lost the fight, the United States reserve the use of the terms "Roquefort" or "cognac" to the products made around the Eponymous French cities.
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