LASP gasp!

The IPKat has learned that his friend Cristian Miceli, an IT lawyer with a keen interest in the software patent debate, has written an article which has just been published online today on Groklaw . Cristian has become so passionate about this topic that he has even set up his own blog at (LASP = Lawyers Against Software Patents).

Below, left: armoured police prepare to face angry anti-software patent lawyers

The IPKat says good luck, Cristian - the patent software debate is a long way from running its full course and this blog will be sure to add to it. Merpel adds, good luck, whether we agree with your position or not ...

The Alsatian Cabbage war - a win for Germany

The IPKat has been perusing the succinctly-titled Commission Decision of 12 January 2006 concerning an application for registration in the ‘Register of protected designations of origin and protected geographical indications’ provided for in Council Regulation (EEC) No 2081/92 (Choucroute d’Alsace) (PGI)(2006/15/EC). This Decision relates to Choucroute d’Alsace, an Alsatian cabbage for which the French sought PGI status. The Germans objected and their objection was upheld. As the preamble to the Decision states:
"As regards non-compliance with the conditions laid down in Article 2 of Regulation (EEC) No 2081/92, the statement of objection challenges the claim that the choucroute possesses a specific quality due to factors allegedly peculiar to Alsace, namely the maturity of the cabbage, which is attributed to the climate and the characteristics of the soil in Alsace, the natural fermentation method and the know-how of the small family firms. The types of soil are described in the application for registration as deep, rich and well-drained. The semi-continental climate of the production area is marked by high temperatures in summer and sunny days alternating with cool nights in late autumn. However, such climate and soil conditions prevail in other regions where cabbages are grown and they are not, therefore, specific according to Article 2(2)(b). As regards the fermentation process, the specifications contain no elements which allow it to be described as ‘natural’ or to attribute it to the Alsace region alone. The specific quality or a particular characteristic of choucroute cannot, therefore, be based on such elements.

(5) As regards the reputation of the name Choucroute d’Alsace, the elements of proof contained in the application for registration basically refer to choucroute garnie (choucroute cooked and served with meat). Those elements thus refer to a cooked dish, which is a product falling outside the scope of Regulation (EEC) No 2081/92. As regards the reputation of raw choucroute, the specifications and the proof provided do not make it possible to establish a specific reputation for choucroute that is independent of the reputation attributed to it as a cooked dish served
with meat".
This is a notable victory for the Germans, who formerly enjoyed sovereignty over Alsace and know a thing or two about cabbages. But the last laugh is on the French: it seems that only the French text of this Commission Decision is authoritative ...

The IPKat, being a card-carrying feline, is always a little anxious about things Alsatian, since the term is used in the UK to refer to the dog that is also termed 'German Shepherd'.

Recipes for Alsatian cabbage here and here
Alsatian cabbage soup here

1 comment:

  1. Another PCI decision whose logic is somewhat difficult to follow. If feta is protectable along with the Nuremburg saussage, Parma ham etc. why not choucroute from Alsace? Surely only the Alsatians would be entitled to use the description "choucroute from Alsace", so why can't they register "Choucroute d'Alsace"?

    The question also has to be asked - why did Germany object?


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