I wonder, just a little bit, though, but I still wonder how many lawyers would sit on my back if I started to make a Mac, developed some new programming and called it Office, peanut butter called Jif, and so on, along with many of the copy cats there is in the world. It’s a huge problem in the luxury goods industry. And you can never be sure a really expensive wine is not a counterfeit.
Well, I know it is a bit different, but only a bit. What I think of is, especially the Americans and copying of cheese names. But not the only the Americans, but they seem to have the less understanding why they should not freely do so.
Respect traditions, not just laws
Brie is of course copied all over the world, and so is Camembert. Also here at my outpost, even though we’re not that far from France, and by all means, we do have the real stuff available, you can find locally produced semi brie style cheese branded Brie. There is a lot of others as well, Gruyère, Emmentaler, Gouda of course and to a little lesser extent Emmentaler. And then we have Cheddar, that is perhaps the most misused cheese name. It might just be excused though. And that has to do with emigration from the UK to the US before any laws and regulations and extensive international trade came into power. Have not seen or heard of Jarlsberg being copied yet, which does not guarantee is has not, but it is slightly different, because Jarlsberg is brand, not a cheese from a designated area or town, bearing the area’s or town’s name. It is so much easier to copy when a cheese is called for instance Gouda, because you cans say Gouda is a town, I just named my cheese after that town which I love so much, I even want to go there some time, I hope. But this all has to do with respect of traditions, not only the laws. The copy right laws are probably much stronger than the designated area of origin regulations. And just to put this into a comic perspective, the free trade treaty negotiations between The EU and The US has come to a halt because the EU wants, rightfully in my opinion to forbid American cheese makers to brand certain types of cheese Feta. Feta can only be made in Greece, which seems hard to grasp for some people.
Style is a wonderful word
The thing is that when you copy, there is always a danger that a consumer is misled into believing they’re buying the real stuff. I suppose that is the idea as well. Why else would you do it. Otherwise the term style can be used. I am a great fan of that. And it is very legitimate. I understand most cheese makers want to describe the type of cheese they are making so that the consumers can tag it onto something known. But you don’t have to steal the name; the word style is available.
Be proud of your product
Give your product its own identity. By copying the name you will signal to the whole world that your cheese is not unique, it’s a copy. Well, if I know that what I am about to buy is a copy, I won’t buy it, I’ll go for the original.