ANDREW P. VANCE MEMORIAL WRITING COMPETITION WINNER: ACQUIRING A EUROPEAN TASTE FOR GEOGRAPHICAL INDICATIONS Skip over navigation
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Copyright (c) 2008 Brooklyn Journal of International Law
Brooklyn Journal of International Law

ANDREW P. VANCE MEMORIAL WRITING COMPETITION WINNER: ACQUIRING A EUROPEAN TASTE FOR GEOGRAPHICAL INDICATIONS

2008

Brooklyn Journal of International Law

33 Brooklyn J. Int'l L. 569

Author

Justin M. Waggoner *

Excerpt

INTRODUCTION

In a handful of Italian provinces, Parmigiano-Reggiano undergoes several labor-intensive processes that culminate in the creation of a large wheel of cheese that must be aged for at least twelve months. 1 The final product has a distinctive flavor that is "full and fruity with a salty tang." 2 Although the technology has changed, the method of producing Parmigiano-Reggiano has remained consistent for more than eight hundred years. 3

Kraft Foods ("Kraft") began producing Parmesan Cheese, its own version of Parmigiano-Reggiano, in the United States in 1945. 4 Kraft's product has many of the same ingredients and uses as Parmigiano-Reggiano, but there are several notable differences. Unlike Parmigiano-Reggiano, Parmesan Cheese is mass-produced in large factories 5 and is only aged for about ten months. 6 Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese is sold in fresh wedges, while Parmesan Cheese is grated into a dry, powder-like substance and packaged in plastic or cardboard tubes. 7

Parmigiano-Reggiano producers 8 are dismayed by Kraft's product name of Parmesan Cheese ("Parmesan" is French for "Parmigiano"--both mean "of Parma."). 9 These producers maintain that Parmigiano-Reggiano (or parmesan cheese) can only be produced in Parma and other nearby provinces because the cheese's quality and methods of production are linked with the land and cannot be replicated in other parts of the world. 10 Parmigiano-Reggiano producers also argue that foreign producers of parmesan cheese are free riding on Parmigiano-Reggiano's traditional product name. 11

More specifically, the Parmigiano-Reggiano producers believe that Kraft is infringing their product's ...
 
 
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