The European Union’s General Court has rejected an appeal to register
“Halloumi” and its Greek alphabet equivalent as Community Trade
Marks, deeming the terms descriptive of the cheese product. Republic of
Cyprus v. Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Mkt., Nos. T-292/14
and T-293/14 (Gen. Ct., order entered October 7, 2015). The application
would have granted trademark protection for “Halloumi” within
the European Union. Halloumi is set to receive Protected Designation
of Origin status as a cheese produced on the island of Cyprus after the
European Commission published the application to register the name
in July 2015. As a trademark, however, the term is merely descriptive of
the cheese product, the court found. “[T]he applicant acknowledges that
the marks applied for have always been perceived by Cypriot consumers
and by consumers across the European Union as referring to a particular
type of cheese exported from Cyprus, made in a certain way and with
particular taste, texture and cooking properties,” the court found.
Because “Halloumi” does not indicate a particular manufacturing source,
the court rejected the application, affirming a lower court’s ruling.

 

Issue 581

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For decades, manufacturers, distributors and retailers at every link in the food chain have come to Shook, Hardy & Bacon to partner with a legal team that understands the issues they face in today's evolving food production industry. Shook attorneys work with some of the world's largest food, beverage and agribusiness companies to establish preventative measures, conduct internal audits, develop public relations strategies, and advance tort reform initiatives.

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