The European Court of Justice has reportedly held that “balsamic” as a descriptor for vinegar is not reserved exclusively for producers in Modena, Italy. The case challenged a German vinegar producer’s use of “Balsamico” and “Deutscher Balsamico.” Although “Balsamic Vinegar from Modena” has been a geographic indication within the European Union for more than a decade, the court held, the rights to exclusive use did not extend to each word within the phrase. “The term ‘aceto’ [vinegar] is a common term and the term ‘balsamico’ [balsamic] is an adjective that is commonly used to refer to a vinegar with a bitter-sweet flavour,” the court reportedly held.

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