"Mini grilled sausages" don't have to come from Nuremberg

Mini Rostbratwürstchen do not infringe the protected geographical indication "Nürnberger Rostbratwürstchen"

"Rostbratwurst sausages are a popular dish throughout Germany, but not all of them have to come from Nuremberg. This rule repeatedly causes confusion and leads to legal disputes. The Regional Court of Munich I has now clarified that the term "Rostbratwürstchen" may be used by other sausage producers as long as the specific name "Nürnberger Rostbratwürstchen" remains protected. The appearance of mini Rostbratwürstchen may also resemble the typical design of Nuremberg sausages. We have here already reported on this legal dispute.

The recipe for the famous Nuremberg sausages was established in Nuremberg back in 1313. Almost 700 years later, in 2003, this specialty received special protection under European law. Only sausages produced in the city of Nuremberg according to this traditional recipe are allowed to bear the name "Nuremberger". This protection ranks alongside other famous European products such as champagne, Scotch whisky and Parma ham.

Important findings

  • Geographical informationOnly sausages produced in Nuremberg may be called "Nürnberger Rostbratwürstchen".
  • Court decisionMunich Regional Court I allows other manufacturers to call their sausages "Rostbratwürstchen", even if they look like real Nuremberg sausages.
  • Risk of confusionDespite similar names and presentations, the court sees no infringement of trademark protection.

Nuremberg Rostbratwurst sausages: A protected term

The term "Nürnberger Rostbratwürstchen" has been protected by European law since 2003. This protection means that only sausages produced in the city of Nuremberg according to the specified recipe may bear this name. The Schutzverband Nürnberger Bratwürste e.V. monitors compliance with these regulations and protects the protected geographical name from misuse.

The legal dispute over the "mini grilled sausages"

The Schutzverband Nürnberger Bratwürste e.V. brought an action against the sausage manufacturer Franz Ostermeier from Geiselhöring, Bavaria. Ostermeier called his products "Mini Rostbratwürstchen", which the association considered to be an infringement of the protected term. The reasoning: consumers could confuse the sausages with the original Nuremberg Rostbratwurst sausages, especially because Ostermeier presented its products in a similar way - on a plate with white bread, sauerkraut and mustard. Even the typical marjoram sprinkles were strongly reminiscent of the "original".

The judgment of Munich Regional Court I

Munich Regional Court I dismissed the claim and ruled that the term "Mini Rostbratwürstchen" did not infringe the protection of "Nürnberger Rostbratwürstchen". The court argued that there are many small sausages on the market that look similar to Nuremberg sausages and that consumers are used to them. The decisive factor was that only the name "Nürnberger" had the protected status. As long as this name is not used, there is no Misleading before.

The tradition of Nuremberg Rostbratwurst sausages

Nuremberg Rostbratwurst sausages are a historic specialty with clear specifications. They may be a maximum of seven to nine centimeters long. These specifications have their own origins, some of which are shrouded in legend. For example, a man named Kaspar Hauser is said to have been fed a vegetarian diet in his dungeon until he was reintroduced to meat with small Nuremberg sausages.

In the Nuremberg Bratwurst Museum, you can learn all about the history and significance of this small sausage specialty. The close connection between the sausage and the city of Nuremberg is vividly illustrated there.

Conclusion

The protection of the geographical indication "Nürnberger Rostbratwürstchen" remains in place, but Munich Regional Court I has clarified that other manufacturers may call their products "Rostbratwürstchen" as long as they do not use the protected term "Nürnberger". This protects both the tradition of Nuremberg sausages and the rights of other sausage producers.

FAQs

  • What is the difference between "Nürnberger Rostbratwürstchen" and "Rostbratwürstchen"?
    "Nürnberger Rostbratwürstchen" must be produced in Nuremberg according to a special recipe. "Rostbratwürstchen" can be made anywhere and are not subject to any such restrictions.
  • Why is the term "Nürnberger Rostbratwürstchen" protected?
    The term has been protected by European law since 2003 in order to preserve the tradition and quality of the sausages produced in Nuremberg.
  • Can a manufacturer outside Nuremberg call its sausages "Nürnberger Rostbratwürstchen"?
    No, only sausages that are produced in the city of Nuremberg according to the traditional recipe are allowed to bear this name.
  • What did the Munich Regional Court I decide with regard to the "Mini Rostbratwürstchen"?
    The court ruled that the name "Mini Rostbratwürstchen" did not infringe the protection of "Nürnberger Rostbratwürstchen" as the name "Nürnberger" was not used.
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