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Dairy Facts 2016

Are Your Food Names Protected?

May 04, 2016

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is teaming up with the Consortium for Common Food Names for a day-long seminar in June about protecting trademarks and generic terms and names.

With the European Union attempting to obtain sole rights over words long viewed as generic, the terms and names for common food products are undergoing increased focus and scrutiny. Hundreds of terms are at risk, including names like parmesan, salami and bologna, as well as terms commonly used on wine labels.

The seminar, co-sponsored by IDFA and other food associations, will be held June 21 at the Chicago Marriott O’Hare. There is no fee, but registration is required.

“For dairy foods companies, especially members of the National Cheese Institute, this issue is important both for export sales and protecting domestic marketing strategies,” said Beth Hughes, IDFA director of international affairs.

During the seminar, legal experts and representatives from the Patent and Trademark Office will cover the tools available to protect labeling flexibilities, the surprising curveballs in common word regulations and the expanding risks to U.S. companies and their buyers. Attendees will leave with a clear vision for protecting current and future sales opportunities.

The seminars other co-sponsors are:

  • Covington, a law firm;
  • Grocery Manufacturers Association;
  • National Milk Producers Federation;
  • North American Meat Institute;
  • U.S. Dairy Export Council;
  • Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association; and
  • Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board.

Register today at

For more information, contact Beth Hughes, IDFA director of international affairs, at

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