A battle in the European courts over trademarks for halloumi cheese raises troubling questions about geographical indications in Europe, says Ermioni Pavlidou.
On October 24, 2005 German manufacturer Garmo AG filed an application to register the word mark ‘Hellim’ (the Turkish word for halloumi) as a Community Trademark.
The applicants sought protection under Class 29 of the Nice classification and the description of the goods and services of the mark included ‘milk and milk products’.
Cypriot firm Organismos Kypriankis Galaktokomikis Viomichanias filed a notice of opposition against the registration of the above mark based on its own earlier and fully registered Community Collective trademark ‘Halloumi’ (CTM 1082965). The opposition was based on the likelihood of confusion (now Article 8[b] of regulation No 207/2009).
trademark, Halloumi, Hellim, CTM, CJEU