ECJ Holds Finnish Trademarks Containing the Term “Cognac” Must Be Cancelled

On July 14, 2011, the European Court of Justice held that Finnish trademark authorities must invalidate two marks for spirit drinks that incorporate part of the name “Cognac.” Bureau national interprofessionel du Cognac v Gust. Ranin Oy, Nos. C-4/10 and C-27/10  (ECJ Jul. 14, 2011). The court based its decision on the fact that, pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 110/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 January 2008, “Cognac” is a protected geographical indication identifying a spirit drink originating from France.

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