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Protection of traditional product names is likely to be strengthened in Europe’s trademark reform package, but Chris McLeod, president of the Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys, asks whether collective and certification trademarks would be a preferable alternative.
Bramley apples, or more precisely ‘Traditional Bramley apple pie filling’, received protected status from the European Commission in July. The specific protection is in the form of the rather unwieldy traditional speciality guaranteed (TSG).
This is open to products which are traditional or have customary names and have a set of features which distinguish them from other similar products. These features must not result from the geographical area in which the product is produced or be based entirely on technical advances in the method of production. With TSG status, Traditional Bramley apple pie filling joins Traditionally Farmed Gloucestershire Old Spots Pork and Traditional Farmfresh Turkey as UK products having such protection, while Birmingham Balti and Watercress are pending approval.
Before the news in relation to Bramley apples I, perhaps like many other practitioners, was not aware of TSGs. Indeed, the protected designation of origin (PDO) and protected geographical indication (PGI) are considerably more well known. A PDO covers agricultural products and foodstuffs which are produced, processed and prepared in a given geographical area using recognised know-how.
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Chris McLeod, ITMA, Elkington & Fyfe, TSG, PGI, PDOs, CTM, trade, IP, PDOs,