A Win for Dairy: Court of Appeals extends generic term decision

The National Milk Producers Federation, the U.S. Dairy Export Council and several other industry stakeholders took home a victory when a U.S. Court of Appeals upheld a prior decision to label Gruyere as a generic term for the variety of cheese.

The court reasoned that the “common usage of Gruyere establishes that when purchasers walk into retail stores and ask for [gruyere], they regularly mean a type of cheese, and not a cheese that was produced in the Gruyère region of Switzerland and France.”

“This is an outstanding result for manufacturers and farmers here in the United States,” stated Krysta Harden, president and CEO of USDEC. “We’re grateful that the Appeals Court agreed that nobody owns the exclusive right to use generic terms.”

National Milk Producers Federation President and CEO Jim Mulhern also weighed in saying, “This is an outstanding result for manufacturers and farmers here in the United States. NMPF rejects blatant European attempts to unjustly limit competition from American companies and will continue to fight alongside our allies to oppose efforts to monopolize common name foods.”

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