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Greek victory over ‘feta’ as EU court takes Danish imitation off the table

Published Jul 20, 2022

Tridge summary

According to the European Court of Justice, Denmark has failed to fulfil its obligations under EU law by continuing to sell ‘feta’ cheese to third countries.

Original content

‘Feta’ is Greek, even when intended for sale outside the bloc, ruled the European Court of Justice (ECJ) on 14 July. The judgement comes some 20 years after the name ‘feta’ was registered as a protected designation of origin (PDO), meaning that ‘feta’ could only be used for Greek cheese made according to product specs. Yet Denmark has been continuing to market cheese as ‘feta’ to third countries. Until now. The infringement claim saw the Commission, backed by Greece and Cyprus, argue that Denmark was in breach of its obligations to prevent or stop of the use of the designation for cheese it intended to export outside the bloc. From Denmark’s perspective, it was within its rights to do so, contending that Regulation No 1151/2012 applies only to products sold within the EU and does not cover exports to third countries. The EU’s top court did not agree. PDOs and protected geographical indications (PGIs) are protected as an intellectual property right, stressed the ECJ. “The scheme ...
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