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Lessons from GRUYERE: A Roadmap for Proving Genericness from the TTAB

This article originally appeared in the Sept. 6, 2020 online edition of, an online Intellectual Property Journal.

“Although this decision is not monumental, it is instructive. Evidence of consumer perception goes a long way, but when the perception pervades governmental definitions and documents, it makes the evidence that much stronger.”

Following the widely discussed BOOKING.COM Supreme Court genericness case, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (Board) took up a genericness case of its own. Int’l. Dairy et al. v. Interprofessionnel du Gruyère addresses whether a geographic certification mark for GRUYERE is generic for cheese or eligible for registration as a certification mark.

In addition to providing an extensive roadmap for how to prove a genericness claim, the case may also be of interest to food and beverage industry applicants seeking to obtain and enforce certification marks.

Please click here to read the full article: Lessons from GRUYERE: A Roadmap for Proving Genericness from the TTAB.

About the Authors:

Partner Hope Hamilton and Associate Amanda Marston practice at Holland & Hart LLP in Boulder, Colorado.  Both specialize in providing a full spectrum of trademark and copyright services, including comprehensive counseling, strategic advice, enforcement, and litigation. 

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