The name "Aceto Balsamico di Modena" (balsamic vineagar from Modena, Italy) has been registered as a protected geographical indication (PGI) since 2009. Already at that time, Germany submitted an (unsuccessful) objection to its registration because it was concerned that it would adversely affect pre-existing products marketed under the designations "Balsamessig/Aceto balsamico".
The European Commission's "New Deal for Consumers" aims to modernise and improve the enforcement of EU consumer protection rules. The package of measures also includes an amendment of Directive on Unfair Commercial Practices (UCPD), after almost 15 years since its entry into force.
The Law on Wine (Weingesetz) provides various designations depending on the origin of the grapes. "Regional wines" must originate from a single wine-growing region (Weinland, Bergland, Steierland), whereas "quality wines" need to be grown in one of 17 wine-growing areas.
Novel foods may only be placed on the market if they are authorised by the European Commission and registered in a Union list. A special notification procedure applies to such foods that have a history of safe food use in a third country ("traditional food from a third country").
The plaintiff sells and distributes "MAGNUM DOUBLE" ice creams on a stick. In the present case, the plaintiff filed a complaint to object to the fact that the defendant had adopted the oval form of the original ice cream product, which is characterised by three layers in total, namely (i) a layer of icing containing cocoa, (ii) a soft layer with a filling in a variety of flavours, and (iii) a layer of chocolate. The plaintiff also wished to prohibit the defendant from offering its product under the name "Gelatelli DOUBLE" or "DOUBLE" by using a font and font colour likely to cause a likelihood of confusion with MAGNUM DOUBLE.
Under the Novel Food Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2015/2283), "novel foods" require authorisation by the European Commission and inclusion in a Union list prior to their being placed on the market. A food is novel if – in simple terms – it falls into certain food categories and was not used for human consumption to a significant degree in the European Union prior to 15 May 1997.
The case focussed on the issue of the non-transparent outer packaging used for a chocolate cake. The packaging contained five pieces of cake, each individually wrapped in silver foil. Warm air becomes trapped within the packaging of the individual pieces of cake when they are sealed inside. This explains why they have a greater volume (approximately 10%) immediately after being sealed. "Removing the air" from the individual packages, which would result in there being enough space for a total of six pieces of cake, is not possible using packaging equipment manufactured from the 1990s. This would be possible if newer machines were used. The actual total weight of the packaged contents, amounting to 150g, was stated on one of the narrow sides of the outer packaging.