Designations of origin protected under Union law, such as "Feta", also apply to exports of products to third countries


ECJ 14.07.2022

"Feta" is a protected designation of origin and may only be used for cheese produced from cow's milk within the geographical area referred to in Regulation No. 1829/2002 (Greece). The ECJ now had to decide whether this designation of origin protected under EU law also applies when a member state exports products to third countries.

According to the Kingdom of Denmark, a protected designation of origin was only valid for sale in the Union territory. In the course of the action subsequently brought by the Commission, the ECJ stated in its judgment that designations of origin and protected geographical indications protected by Union law are protected as intellectual property rights by Regulation No. 1151/2012. Even if a product is manufactured in the Union and intended for export, the protection of such intellectual property is affected if the Union law provisions are not complied with. The protection under Union law covers not only the marketing but also the manufacturing of the products. Denmark had not prevented the labeling "Feta" of cheese that was not produced in Greece. By doing so, Denmark violated Regulation No. 1151/2012, according to the ECJ.