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Specification of the ECJ: ham armed with two winners

when is a black forest ham black forest ham? According to the European court of justice, he must be regionally packaged and cut - under certain circumstances. A final judgment is pending.

black forest ham must be Packed and he came from according to the label, and cut. The European court of justice has ruled. The protected regional brand needs to be packaged under certain conditions on the ground for sale. According to the court, that is the case, if this was a "necessary and proportionate means" to ensure the quality or the origin of the product.

The decision of a 13-year-long period of "ham dispute" in Germany is preceded by: The Association for the protection of the black forest ham manufacturers claimed in 2005 when the German Patent - and trademark office that this product must only be cut in the black forest, and Packed. Thus, some manufacturers did not agree to.

The black forest ham should be cut according to the ECJ, under certain conditions, in the black forest, and Packed.

National courts are now asked

After a few instances, the German Federal patent court referred to the ECJ should interpret the EU law in this case. The Federal patent court wanted to know in particular to what extent certain aspects of the quality assurance, a restriction of the Slicing and packaging to the production area can be justified. The ECJ opened with the judgement in principle, the way for such requirements.

The provisions of the ECJ both to the dispute lay parties as a victory: "It is gratifying that the opinion of the ECJ shows that the Slicing and packaging of ham must be made in the black forest, to ensure the protected geographical indication," said the meat processor Bell Food Germany. The company is to ensure that the ham may also be outside of the black forest, cut.

The other side, the Association for the protection of the black forest ham manufacturers, welcomed the judgment. We look forward to the further course of the proceedings before the Federal patent court "with great Confidence".

Now the patent judges, taking into account the judgment must decide whether the ban on the ham outside of the black forest, cutting and packaging, is lawful.

(case C-367/17)

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