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Gruyère and Tequila® – Are they Generic, Registerable Trademarks, and/or Just Good Together?

In September of 2015, Interprofession du Gruyère filed an application with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) to register the term GRUYERE as a certification mark. With a certification mark registration in place, to use the word GRUYERE in association with cheese would require the cheese a certification process confirming that it originates from the Gruyère region of Switzerland and France. U.S. Dairy Export Council (as well as several other parties) filed an opposition to the mark arguing that US customers understand the term GRUYERE to indicate a type of cheese having certain characteristics involving taste and softness, etc., but that it could be produced anywhere, not necessarily in Switzerland or France.

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