This interesting topic written by Özlem Fütman is enlightening as it underlines the importance of translation regarding geographical indications . You can see the interesting details of the article below, which you can access in its entirety from the link above.
Boccaccio was affected by the great plague epidemic in 1348, he discussed the epidemic in Florence in his work called Decameron . The book consists of the stories told by young people who escaped from the plague during the ten days they spent in the Tuscan countryside. Even in this book, there is a reference to Parmesan cheese, which is eaten with pleasure today. After this introduction, let’s take a look at the legal dispute regarding this old word.
Consorzio del Formaggio parmigiano Reggiano “ Parmigiano The official organization established by law in Italy, which is tasked with the protection of the “Reggiano ” geographical indication and trademark, and the promotion of the products by protecting the quality of the products under them. This establishment was founded in 2019 with the title “ Parmigiano Reggiano ” applies to the Singapore Trademark and Patent Office (IPOS) for the registration of the geographical indication and completes the application registration stages without any problems.
However , Fonterra company objects to this decision and says the protection given to “ Parmigiano Reggiano ” should not extend to Parmesan because He claims that “Parmesan” is not the exact translation of Parmigiano Reggiano . They say that they have no objection to its registration as a geographical indication, but they want the scope of protection of this registration not to include the word Parmesan .
This is where the issue of translation comes into play.
In March 2023, the Singapore High Court ruled that the word ” Parmesan ” is the translation of “Parmigiano Reggiano” .
In the context of the Geographical Indications Law, the concept of “translation” is defined as translating or transferring from one language to another. The disagreement between the two parties in the file is about whether the translation of geographical indications should be done word for word or faithfully. While the plaintiff , Fonterra , argued that a word- for-word translation should be made, the Court held that a faithful translation should be preferred. In its decision, the Court states that faithful translations that explain and express the historical, cultural, legal and economic context of geographical indications are more in line with the purpose and spirit of protection. Additionally, CJEU Legal Advocate Philippe Referring to Léger’s view, he emphasizes that the link between the quality of the geographical indications and the geographical source of the products can be achieved with an accurate translation. In conclusion, the Court notes that a word-for -word translation can lead to inaccuracies in meaning and an unjustified extension or narrowing of protection.
In conclusion, the Court states that there is no need for a sworn translator in translation and that a faithful translation is the main thing. He emphasizes that reliable and reputable dictionaries should be used as a reference for translation and argues that consumer perception should not be a determining factor in translation.