2011年7月28日

ヴィンテージの名前でもめるチーズ

チーズの商標でフォンテラが揉めています。


ハミルトンにあるチーズ屋さんが、自分たちのチーズに”ヴィンテージ”という名前を付けて売りに出していたら、ニュージーランド乳製品最大手のフォンテラから”ヴィンテージ”の名前の使用停止を要請する手紙を受け取ったようです。

フォンテラの言い分は、チーズの名前として”ヴィンテージ”を45年前に登録商標しており、自分たちのトレードマークと商品の価値を守るために必要なことをしているだけ、というものです。

ここで興味深いのは、法律はそれを明確にしていないことです。

同じようなことがビールの商標にもあったらしく(対DBビール)、結局あとから参入したダニーデンのビール醸造会社が名前を変えなければならなくなったようです。

このチーズ屋さんの店主はそうならないことを望んでいるようですが、もし法廷で同じ判例が適用されるなら、このハミルトンのチーズ屋さんが”ヴィンテージ”の名前を変えなければならない可能性があります。

大げさに騒ぎ立てるフォンテラが大人げないのか、ヴィンテージというごく一般的に使用される名称を登録できたことが間違っていたのか、そのあたりがこれから明らかになるかもしれません。

Boutique cheesemakers are preparing to fight dairy giant Fonterra over the use of the word "vintage" on their products. The cheese-making industry was unaware Fonterra trademarked the word in the 1960s, and it is now asking makers to cease using it on their products. Hamiltonian Miel Meyer's family has been churning out Gouda for 25 years, and have been using the term "vintage" just as long.

"Vintage was a common way of describing the age of any cheese," said Meyer who was surprised when Fonterra wrote to him advising they had trademarked the word in relation to cheese and he should stop using it. "I thought it was a little bit crazy that they could own such a word, because it's a descriptive word used all over the cheese industry," Meyer told ONE News. The cheesemaker's association says at least five of its members have received the same letter, and it is now seeking legal advice. Intellectual property lawyer Graeme Austin said trademark law can be tricky. "How it's being used in the marketplace - is it being used honestly as a way of describing the product, a type of product, a characteristic of the product and so on, or is it just tipping over and starting to look more like a trademark," he said. Fonterra said in a statement: "Fonterra Brands has had the name registered for 45 years and we are simply protecting our trademark and the value of our brands." Earlier this month DB Breweries won a similar dispute over the word "radler" against a Dunedin brewery. The Intellectual Property Office rejected the boutique brewery's claim that radler was a generic term for a style of beer. Since the decision the brewery has altered the name of its product. Meyer is hoping he won't have to do the same. "It's more the principal for me than anything else." Some brands found in the supermarket already use alternative terms such as "mature" or "aged" which Fonterra has no claim over.

ネタ元:http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/row-over-term-vintage-has-makers-cheesed-off-4328709

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