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Interview Judgment trademark dispute Nuremberger Rostbratwurst

Interview Judgment trademark dispute Nuremberger Rostbratwurst
Interview Judgment trademark dispute Nuremberger Rostbratwurst

The Nuremberg Bratwurst Protection Association is suing at the Munich Regional Court against copies of the regional brand. What sounds like a joke is actually not funny at all – especially not for Rainer Heimler, who heads the protection association.

Rainer Heimler is a lawyer in Fürth. He is also a founding member of the Nuremberg Bratwurst Protection Association and has been its chairman since 2014.

To person

Rainer Heimler is a lawyer in Fürth. He is also a founding member of the Nuremberg Bratwurst Protection Association and has been its chairman since 2014.

Mr. Heimler, how often do you eat Nuremberg Bratwurst?
I could eat them every day, if you ask me. For me, they are simply the only really delicious bratwurst. Otherwise, I don’t eat bratwurst, only Nuremberg bratwurst, because they are just as spicy. Because they are so crispy and so tasty.

This is probably why you are the chairman of the Nuremberg Bratwurst Protection Association. How did that come about?
In 1998, we founded our association together with the city of Nuremberg. The city is not only a founding member, but is still a member of our association today. Other founding members are the butchers’ guild in Nuremberg and the four large manufacturers from Nuremberg who produce works. At the beginning, I was the second chairman of the association.

What was the purpose of the association?
Our association also includes lawyers through membership of the guild. Together we pursued the goal of initiating a process to achieve protection of the Nuremberg sausage. This goal was achieved in 2003 when we received EU-wide protection for the Nuremberg sausage. This means that only the products that are produced in the city of Nuremberg and correspond to the recipe that has been deposited with the EU Commission can be called “Nuremberg Rostwurst” or “Nuremberg sausage”. In 2022, the ban on selling visually similar sausages followed.

What does a typical Nuremberg sausage look like?
A typical feature of the Nuremberg sausage that was included in its protection is its size. According to the protected recipe and the EU regulation, a Nuremberg bratwurst may only be 7 to 9 centimeters long and not weigh more than 25 grams. In addition, it must be surrounded by a solid casing. Therefore, a grilled Nuremberg bratwurst is always between seven and nine centimeters long. Combined with the weight standard, this also results in a specific diameter, similar to a caliber.

Do you consciously always say “sausage” or is “sausage” also okay?

Please never say Würstchen, in Nuremberg that means Rostbratwurst or Nuremberg Bratwurst, but never Würtchen or Würstel or anything like that. That is not right.

In addition to name and appearance, try

That is our protection association. Firstly, not every Nuremberg butcher or every manufacturer based in Nuremberg who produces Nuremberg crime scenes has to be a member of the association.
He has the right to become a member. Even if someone is a butcher or a medium or large manufacturer wants to become a member. Then he also has the right to become a member. This has recently been explicitly regulated in the new version of the EU regulation. But with us, the butchers who are members of the guild. And then there are many large manufacturers. But not all of them. Overall, unfortunately, there are fewer and fewer butchers’ shops. You know, something is slowly fading out and being lost to the generations. And that is why it is very important to us that we maintain this tradition, which is a prerequisite for protecting the Nuremberg sausage, by trying to maintain our protection and, if possible, to intensify it. This preserves the sausage as a cultural asset. Not as an economic asset.

If everything is watered down and there are somehow 100 different types, then this cultural asset is damaged. That’s true. OK, if the positive verdict were to come today. You’ve already mentioned it. Are there other areas where the Nuremberg Rostbratwurst is defended or nibbled at? In your yes. In your brand?

No. Well, I have to say that over the last 20 years, since the protection was in place, it has been common knowledge that the name cannot be used for anything other than something that comes from Nuremberg. So the number of cases of infringement is relatively low. It is not the case that we surf the internet every day and look to see if a small butcher somewhere, somewhere, has mislabeled his size. That is not what we want. We, we, we were or we are taking action against the infringements. Either if they are serious or if they are more important to us than a small infringement. Then we write to a small butcher somewhere in northern Germany or southwest Germany and would like to point out that the name he is using for his bristles, which do not come from Nuremberg, does not comply with the legal situation. We ask the gentleman to look into this and to stop it, because he will not pay anything. I am being warned for this. There are no law firms that are called in, we do it ourselves. And then in most cases there is an understanding, because sometimes they don’t know anymore, just not yet, because they are small companies. There is complete harmony among the many companies. Let’s move on.

Source: Stern

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