Friday 23 September 2011

Dispute about the real Obazda goes to round 2

Obazda is the name of a Bavarian cheese specialty which is preferably eaten together with brezels in the beer gardens and/or at the Oktoberfest. It is basically a mix of mashed Camembert or Brie cheese with some fresh cream cheese and sweet paprika powder, which gives it a slightly orange color. Whilst every bavarian here knows that his mother's recipe for Obazda is the real and original one, there are some pharisaic, if not puritan newly immigrated swabians discussing the right way to prepare Obazda including the right degree of clumpiness.

Perfectly fitting the Oktoberfest season, the Bundespatentgericht has had oral proceedings in an opposition against the registration of a protected geographical indication (PGI) for "Obazda" or "Bavarian Obazda". The PGI was registered by the association of the bavarian dairy industry, the members of which are, as the interested reader might imagine, bavarian enterprises from the dairy industry. The opponent was actually not an immigrated swabian frim but interestingly a bavarian enterprise which had moved from the munich area to Leutkirch, which is in Swabia and around 6 kilometers from the bavarian border.

In a press release , the Bundespatentgericht has indicated that the expression "Obazda" was eligible for a PGI registration in principle but that it has doubts whether the right choice for the applicant would not be an interest group to be formed, which could then be open to bavarians in exile sufficiently close to the bavarian border. With regard to the recipe and the required degree of clumpiness, the presiding judge Franz Hacker turned out to be surprisingly open-minded. However, the attitude with regard the method for conservation in industrial used, the court found that the latter should not be restricted to thermising the cheese because the traditional recipe does not contain any conservation at all. The case was referred back to the first instance.

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