Morbier Beats Rival in European Union Court

The makers of creamy French cheese Morbier won on Friday morning their fight against a copycat after the European Union’s top court announced a lookalike product and the way it is marketed could mislead consumers.

The makers of creamy French cheese Morbier won on Friday morning their fight against a copycat after the European Union’s top court announced a lookalike product and the way it is marketed could mislead consumers.

Morbier’s battle for its status started in the year 2013 when an organization for the defense of Morbier sued cheesemaker Societe Fromagere du Livradois SAS in a French court for infringing its PDO and marketing a cheese with the same look.

The organization lost the case and a subsequent appeal in the year 2017, but a referring judge then sought guidance from the Luxembourg-based EU Court of Justice, whose judges backed Morbier cheesemakers’ argument.

“EU law prohibits the reproduction of the shape or appearance of a product protected by a PDO in certain circumstances,” they said.

The court said that even if the name Morbier doesn’t appear on the rival’s product or packaging, its reproduction was liable to mislead the consumer as to the true origin of the product.


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