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The aim of these articles is to keep our Clients and Associates updated about developments in the sector of Intellectual Property in general and our firm in particular. In this way, we wish to provide a broader view of the tools that the field of trade marks, domain names, patents, designs and related rights offers to entrepreneurs to enhance and protect their efforts in researching and developing new solutions and ideas.

The Ongoing Quarrel about the Famous Gianduiotto Chocolates of Turin

As those with a sweet tooth will certainly know, the so-called Gianduiotto chocolates are among the most widely known gastronomic specialties and symbols of our town Turin in particular and of Piedmont in general.

In March 2022, the Committee for the Protection of Gianduiotto of Turin, formed and supported by large Piedmontese confectionery companies and Turin renowned chocolatiers, applied for the 'Gianduiotto di Torino' to be certified as a Protected Geographical Indication (PGI).

The aim of the PGI certification is to protect and enhance quality agri-food production and to develop and strengthen the link between the territory and its products. PGIs identify products that are linked to a specific geographical area either because at least one of their production steps takes place within the area or because of their quality or reputation is attributable to their geographical origin.

Another requirement for PGIs is that their production must follow a specific recipe.

The product specification proposal for the 'Gianduiotto di Torino' provides for production in the entire territory of Piedmont as well as for the exclusive use of the toasted 'Nocciola del Piemonte Igp' (Piedmont hazelnuts PGI).

After the favourable opinion issued by the Regional Council of Piedmont in September 2022, the application was transferred to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Sovereignty and Forestry in order to be later transmitted to the European Commission.

In 2023 the Swiss confectionery giant Lindt opposed the registration of the Gianduiotto as PGI, claiming that milk powder, i.e. an ingredient used only in industry, should be inserted in the product specification and the percentage of the precious Piedmont hazelnut PGI should be reduced.

Piedmontese master chocolatiers, on their part, maintain that the real Gianduiotto is made with only three ingredients: hazelnuts, sugar and cocoa mass, no milk at all.

Lindt, which currently owns the firm Caffarel - the well-known Piedmontese company that first marketed the industrial version of the Gianduiotto in 1865 - is holder of the Italian trademark 'Gianduia 1865 – L’autentico Gianduiotto di Torino' and produces Gianduiotto chocolates with 10% milk powder.

Therefore, the reason for Lindt’s request that the parameters for granting PGI protection be widened is quite clear and lies in their need to fall within such parameters.

In the hope nobody will cry over spilled milk, we will monitor all developments and will keep you informed about this chocolate dispute that concerns us very closely.