Brands Update — March 2014: Greek yoghurt joins ranks of Champagne and Swiss chocolate

The English Court of Appeal has confirmed that, under the law of passing off, a yoghurt brand can only call its product ‘Greek yoghurt’ if it is actually made in Greece, and not anywhere else. The phrase ‘Greek yoghurt’ to denote strained thick and creamy yoghurt made in Greece therefore joins the ranks of other exclusive geographic indications that have been protected under English passing-off law, including ‘Champagne’ and ‘Swiss chocolate’.

FAGE, the owners of the TOTAL Greek yoghurt brand, brought a passing-off claim against Chobani to prevent its use of the phrase ‘Greek yoghurt’, on the grounds that — unlike the TOTAL yoghurt — the Chobani yoghurt was made in the US, not Greece…

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