YouTuber Gets Cease And Desist From Cheese Company For Making Cheese
A cheesemaking YouTuber received a cease and desist letter from a cheese company after making similar cheese.
Gavin Webber, an Australian creator on YouTube with more than 248,000 subscribers, published a video in October last year showing people how to make ‘Grana Padano style cheese’.
Grana Padano, a cheese similar to Parmigiano-Reggiano originating from northern Italy, is protected by PDO (protected designation of origin) status, designed to promote and protect food items hailing from a specific area with particular benefits.
At the start of his first video, Webber was very clear on trying not to infringe the name. He starts by saying: ‘Well g’day curd nerds. Today we’re making Grana Padano style cheese.’
He continues: ‘Yes I said ‘style cheese’. It’s not the real deal, it’s not Grana Padano.’ He then says it’s not a PDO cheese, and asks viewers not to flag him in the comments.
More than a year later, an intellectual property company representing the consortium for the protection, promotion and commercialisation of Grana Padano sent the cheesemaker a cease and desist letter demanding that the original video – but strangely, not the taste test follow-up – be taken down.
Check out the YouTuber’s original ‘Grana Padano style’ video below:
The letter explains:
I wish to inform you that the above described conduct is a clear infringement of the Consorzio’s intellectual property rights. Indeed, your video seems to describe how to create counterfeited replicas of Grana Padano.
On the other hand, YouTube users could understand that Grana Padano can be produced everywhere. On the contrary, the Specification Rules for the production of Grana Padano require that it is created in the production area, in Italy, by authorised entities controlled by the Consorzio.
Webber has been asked to remove the video within five days of the letter’s receipt, or else ‘the Consorzio will not hesitate to take the necessary steps to ensure the protection of its trademark rights’.
It appears that while Webber has clearly not tried to claim he’s made Grana Padano cheese, the mere invocation of the product’s name with ‘style’ attached is enough to be classed as an infringement.
Check out the taste test of the problematic cheese below:
While unhappy with having received the letter, dubbing it ‘beyond a joke’, the YouTuber says he’ll comply with consortium’s ‘pedantic’ wishes and remove the video on Sunday, November 29. ‘Curd nerds’ have plenty of time to go check out the video until then.
He added: ‘What makes me laugh about all of this is that I must have got fairly close to the mark as far as nailing the recipe for this cheese… I must have really nailed the Grana Padano recipe.’
To check out the rest of Webber’s vast cheesemaking, visit his YouTube channel here.
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