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US Dairy Sector in Cheese Naming Row

17 July 2015

US - Leaders of the US Milk Producers Federation, the U.S. Dairy Export Council, and the International Dairy Foods Association are objecting to WIPO’s regulation on use of generic food names.

Earlier in May the World Intellectual Property Organization WIPO, a United Nations agency charged with developing a balanced international intellectual property system, has approved the treaty changes.

The changes are aimed to regulate the use of many generic food names in export markets. The geographical indications protection plan sets the limit for the use of certain food names to a specific region or country.

The US dairy industry businessmen are not happy about this decision and use all efforts to influence the WIPO decision.

The leaders of the US Senate and House Judiciary committees, the Senate Finance Committee, and the House Ways and Means Committee have sent an official letter to WIPO, expressing reasoning and objections against the changes implementation.

Among those hurt by the changes are U.S. dairy producers and processors that have relied for decades on well-established cheese names like parmesan and feta.

Dairy industry unanimously support the governmental efforts to protect US food producers’ business, as they are concerned about lack of sufficient protections for other users of the food names.

The joint opinion of the dairy sector stakeholders and the officials is clearly set :“We urge you to take appropriate steps to rectify the funding situation and to implement the agreement in a fair and balanced way that adequately protects the interests of trademark owners and users of generic names.”


Top image via Shutterstock

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