“Incomprehensible and unacceptable”, is what the President of the Consortium for the Protection of Grana Padano cheese, Nicola Cesare Baldrighi, said about the provision contained in the chapter on intellectual property of the trade agreement between the European Union and Mexico, which states that protection of the term ‘Grana’ is not required. “This provision – added Baldrighi – is in contrast with the fact that the term ‘Grana’ is known to be an integral and characteristic part of the Grana Padano Protected Designation of Origin, as also recognized by the Court of First Instance of the European Communities in its judgment of 12 September 2007 in case T 291/03 on the Community trade mark Grana Biraghi. Moreover, it seems irreconcilable with the fact that in Mexico Grana Padano is recognized under the Lisbon Agreement, with the consequent commitment of Mexico to protect the name against any imitation or usurpation”.
GRANA PADANO PROTECTION CONSORTIUM NEXT STEPS
According to the Grana Padano Consortium, “article 6 of the Lisbon Agreement provides that a name recognised in a country through the agreement cannot become generic as long as it is protected in the country of origin. Moreover, in Mexico the ‘Grana Padano’ Designation of Origin was registered, as was the Grana Padano trademark. It is therefore difficult to understand how the exception negotiated by the EU under the Trade Agreement with Mexico regarding the lack of protection for the term ‘Grana’ could be reconciled with the express provisions of the Lisbon Agreement, which in our opinion would make the exception in question not applicable in practice”. Grana Padano Consortium intends therefore to “go ahead with the utmost determination to obtain full protection of the Grana Padano PDO, in compliance with what is provided at EU level and the protection afforded to the name itself by the Lisbon Agreement” Nicola Cesare Baldrighi said.