Some culinary IP news....
First from Sweden: Swedish online publication "The Local" reports that Lindahls dairy in Jönköping, Sweden, has paid a 77 year old Greek man the settlement sum of about two million Swedish kronor (about £180.000) after it had transpired that the dairy company had used the Greek gentleman's photograph to advertise its Turkish style yogurt in Sweden for about 8 years without him knowing anything about it. It appears that an advertising agency had used the photo of Minas Karatzoglis without his knowledge or consent.
Minas Karatzoglis, who lives in Greece, was made aware of the use of his image on the yogurt through a friend who lives in Sweden and who had recognised him. Mr Karatzoglis had initially sued the dairy company for a higher sum in damages and had stressed that he was not Turkish, but Greek and also lived in Greece so that the use of his photograph on a Turkish yogurt was clearly misleading. Mr Karatzoglis, we learn from the German paper Stern, will use the settlement sum to supplement his pension and support his children. Stern also reports that Mr Karatzoglis often travels within Greece and visits markets where tourists regularly take photos of him due to his beautiful beard. One of these photos obviously made its way to Sweden. The dairy company is now trying to recover damages from its advertising agency.
In other culinary news, this time from Germany, we learn about a potential trade mark skirmish between fast food giant McDonald's and the guild of butchers (Fleischerinnung) from Nuremberg Germany over the use of the mark "Nürnburger" for fast food burgers with sausages. This delightful story is featured in the online publication version of the Roth-Hilpoltsteiner-Volkszeitung. So,"Nürnburger" is clearly a pun on "Nürnberg", the German name of the city of Nuremberg which is famous for its grilled sausages ("Nürnberger Rostbratwürste"). While McDonald's is using the mark legitmately, the Fleischerinnung has also been using "Original Nürnburger" and "The Original Nürnburger" on sausages and wanted the brand for itself.
Unfortunately for the butchers, Bratwurstfabrik HoWe am Hafen, the sausage manufacturers who are producing the sausage burgers for McDonald's, have acquired the trade mark rights in the mark "Nürnburger" from another sausage giant, Hans Kupfer KG. Hans Kupfer KG had already filed a German trade mark for "Nürnburger" in 2000 (German trade mark No. 30017329 “Nürnburger” of 6 March 2000 covering sausages in class 29) and Bratwurstfabrik HoWe itself has now also filed for a German trade mark for "Nürnburger" (German trade mark application No. 3020100377003 “Nürnburger” covering class 30 and filed on 23 June 2010). Hans Kupfer KG itself also produces Nueremberg sausages after the traditional recipe.
There is also "The Society for the Protection of the Nürnberger Rostbratwürste" (Schutzverband Nürnberger Rostbratwürste) which monitors that the sausages are made in Nueremberg, have the correct size (8 cm) and are made of the correct ingredients to ensure that only legitimate sausages are sold as original Nueremberg sausages. Interestingly, both trade mark owners, Kupfer und HoWe (the one supplying McDonald's with the sausages), are members of this society and so might not be much help for the Fleischerinnung.
So will the brand "Nürnberger Rostbratwürste" be damaged by the use of "Nürnburger" on fast food?
Difficult to tell - but Manfred Seitz, a spokesperson for the Nuremberg Fleischerinnung, who is not happy about the fastfood version of the traditional Nuremberg sausages very much fears that this "unique" brand could be "diluted". Mr Seitz is quoted as saying: "... this is as if you pass off an Opel as a Mercedes". (Opel being the German version of a Vauxhall.) Surely the wurst case possible ...
Thursday, 15 July 2010
Some culinary IP news....