The German Federal Court of Justice requested the European Court of Justice, whether the term "Aceto Balsamico" evokes an association with the registered geographical indication "Aceto Balsamico di Modena" and thus might be illegal.
Art. 13 of Re. 5610/2006 protects registered geographical indications against
- any direct or indirect commercial use of a registered name in respect of products not covered by the registration in so far as those products are comparable to the products registered under that name or in so far as using the name exploits the reputation of the protected name;
- any misuse, imitation or evocation, even if the true origin of the product is indicated or if the protected name is translated or accompanied by an expression such as ‘style’, ‘type’, ‘method’, ‘as produced in’, ‘imitation’ or similar;
- any other false or misleading indication as to the provenance, origin, nature or essential qualities of the product, on the inner or outer packaging, advertising material or documents relating to the product concerned, and the packing of the product in a container liable to convey a false impression as to its origin;
- any other practice liable to mislead the consumer as to the true origin of the product.
For the above reasons the question is not only whether both indications are similar in sound and/or visual terms. The regualtion already probibits allusions to the registered geographical indication.