1. Alesia
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    Alesia Pen names: AJ Connor, Carey Connolly Contributor

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    EU seeking to trademark food...

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Alesia, Apr 21, 2014.

    http://fox6now.com/2014/04/19/bill-morgan-says-bologna-to-eu-trademarking-idea/

    That's right, the EU wants to trademark the names of certain food items. What that means, I'm not entirely sure. I'm assuming by the article's tone that if the EU gets its way, us American authors would no longer legally be allowed to use such words as "Swiss cheese" or "French Fries" in our stories without paying some unknown entity a sum of money for the "rights" to use it. Honestly, what's next? Human beings being barred from speaking or writing because every word in the English language is trademarked by someone? Idiocy, plain and simple.
     
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  2. Andrae Smith
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    Andrae Smith Gone exploring... in the inner realm... Contributor

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    Well that is pretty lame. Still, I don't think it would cause writers to have to pay to use the name of a food. It seems to me like the most impact this will have on writers is force us to call things by different names for accuracy. We won't be able to call Swiss cheese that is made in America "Swiss" cheese because it wouldn't make sense. All true "Swiss cheese" would be in Europe or come directly from Europe.

    If anything, the biggest social impact is that food companies in America would have to change the names. Try thinking of it like creating chocolate-peanut butter cups like Reese's. Even if you followed the exact same recipe (somehow), you wouldn't be able to call it a Reese's peanut butter cup. That wouldn't mean you couldn't write the name in a book, you'd just be referring to the company's candy rather than your own. In the same way, you can write Swiss cheese, Polish* sausage, and so on, but the point of reference would be different, I think.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2014
  3. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Clearly ridiculous, but I did love the way the prez of Johnsonville challenged a cook-off for the name. That is product loyalty! ;)
     
  4. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    The sausage formerly known as Polish sausage.
     
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  5. Alesia
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    Alesia Pen names: AJ Connor, Carey Connolly Contributor

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    Hate to say it, but as someone with heavy blood ties to Wisconsin, Johnsonville is not the best option for a brat cook-off. Gotta go with KLEMENTS!
     
  6. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Utterly off topic (apologies all around) but did Prince really expect people to hold a little card or something with his symbol on it every time they made reference to him??

    "Good evening, this is the News at Five. Thank you for tuning in. Breaking news today, [​IMG] settled out of court today for an undisclosed sum concerning allegations of misuse of a cold-cut name in one of his song lyrics. No statement was issued."
     
  7. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Trademark isn't the same as copyright. We'd have every right to refer to Swiss cheese without paying royalties, just as we'd have the right to refer to Coke without paying royalties. Or, as a more direct analogy, just as we have the right to refer to champagne without paying royalties.

    I say "a more direct analogy" because, as I understand it, the term "champagne" is already restricted in a way similar to the way being discussed. If you sell a bubbly wine product that is grown and made very much like champagne, but it wasn't made in the Champagne region of France, you may not be allowed to call it champagne.

    I think that the idea is related to the idea that you shouldn't be able to sell "Maine lobster" that was harvested in, say New Zealand. Now, that doesn't mean that every single food that is associated with a region is entitled to protection, but I wouldn't say that the idea is always crazy, either.
     
  8. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    It would be more legit if they weren't so late on the ball.
     
  9. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    But that's assuming that they only just started trying. For all we know, they may have been protesting for a century, but only now got the clout to get any action.
     
  10. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    True in logic, but at what point does the ghost just have to be given up? Aspirin and heroin were once trademarked names and the company that held them exists today, Bayer. I doubt Bayer is going to want to fight for any kind exclusivity to the latter, but there is some legal logical merit in the former, but I mean, sometimes you just can't make the language go back on what it's already chosen. It doesn't obey the law. It has its own. Xerox is easier than photo-copy and for all the tongue-clucking in the world, the language settled on the one it liked better. It's a losing battle.

    Also, it's really late and i've been transcribing all day and my argument may not be coherent. :oops:
     
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  11. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    If there was some evidence I'm open to changing my opinion. Otherwise, they're late on the ball.
     
  12. Alesia
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    Alesia Pen names: AJ Connor, Carey Connolly Contributor

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    Let me put it this way. We've been using the term "frankfurter" for how long to describe a hot dog? The term originates from a type of sausage made in Frankfurt, Germany, but be it a frank, frankfurter, hot dog, dog, weenie, or wiener it's all just another name for sausage. I'd say the only way someone should be able to trademark a specific term is if they had irrefutable proof that they or their family were the ones that created the term, and provided significant evidence that they suffered some sort of loss as a result of other's using the term. That's my two cents.
     
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  13. MLM
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    MLM Banned for trolling

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    ChickenFreak is right. Even America does this. For Bourbon to be "Bourbon" it must be from a moonlight still in Bourbon County, KY.
     
  14. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    I don't know quite how far the American version wants to go, but here in the EU, it already exists to protect the provenance of certain locally-produced foods. Without this protection, ANYBODY can make something and call it "Stornoway Black Pudding" or "Lanark Blue Cheese," or "Arbroath Smokies." These are specialty foods that have particular properties, which are made to a specific recipe using ingredients from a specific area. Anybody can make Blue Cheese, but the Lanark Blue must come from a particular place to be called that.

    I don't think for a minute that anybody expects all Cheddar Cheese to be made near the Cheddar Gorge, or anything like that. Or that Polish sausage needs to be made in Poland. I think this is more to protect local industries producing specialty products. At least that's the way it operates here in the EU.

    However, it's a matter of degree and who interprets the issue. I suppose it's open to nitpicking and pedantic interpretation. I'd keep my eye on this, but don't condemn it out of hand.
     
  15. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    If you're in the US, would you be fine with "Maine lobster" harvested in New Zealand, "New Hampshire Maple Syrup" harvested in Germany, "Napa Valley Merlot" harvested in Spain, "Hatch chiles" grown in Europe, and so on? Europe isn't alone in profiting from regional associations.
     
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  16. Alesia
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    Alesia Pen names: AJ Connor, Carey Connolly Contributor

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    This is America... we have "Vermont Maple Syrup" made in China...
     
  17. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    If any of this silliness were to come to pass, I see the word "style" coming into heavy, heavy use in packaging.
     
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  18. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Quoted from the article:
    I honestly took it for granted you don't call anything else Feta except, well, feta made in certain areas and of certain ingredients. It actually helps when you're shopping; the feta and stilton are called with their real names, and the rest are called 'salad cheese' or 'blue cheese' or some such. I don't go home having paid for feta only to find out it was made in Estonia; would feel like a rip-off. Feta has been trademarked in the EU for quite a long time, actually.

    Didn't some American restaurants start calling French fries "freedom fries" for some reason at some point? So Americans could come up with their own names for trademarked products. Should be fun :)
     
  19. Alesia
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    Alesia Pen names: AJ Connor, Carey Connolly Contributor

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    "Freedom Fries" came about because France refused to assist us in this war crime we called "Operation Iraqi Freedom." Therefore, all of the Tea Party warmongers in the red states dubbed French Fries "Freedom Fries" simply as a jab at the French.
     
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  20. stevesh
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    stevesh Banned Contributor

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    Oddly, I just learned this weekend that Cornish Game Hens aren't Cornish, or game birds, or even necessarily hens. They're just regular broiler chickens who are fed a little more heavily (to increase breast size relative to the whole bird) and slaughtered at five weeks of age. Somebody needs to sue somebody.
     
  21. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Ok, thanks for shining some light on that :)

    [OT]
    I thought the US would've been thankful, what with verbal gems like:

    “Going to war without the French is like going deer hunting without an accordion.”

    -Jed Babbin, a former United States Deputy Undersecretary of Defense

    :D[/OT]
     
  22. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Why am I reminded of this....? :rolleyes:




    Freedom Fries!

    Frdom Fres!

    Frdm frs!

    Frm-fer-frrrrr!!!!


    (Ok, I'm done now......) :oops:
     
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  23. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    In the U.S., a test the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office uses is whether the proposed mark is "primarily geographically deceptively misdescriptive." It's a mouthful, but basically boils down to the idea that if a proposed mark would mislead consumers into thinking the item originated from a geographic area when it did not, the USPTO won't allow the trademark.

    The mere fact of including a geographic name doesn't necessarily matter. But if you use a geographic name of a location well-known for making a particular item, and you're using it on the same type of item even though yours doesn't come from that geographic region, you're going to have a problem.
     

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