Living in Cyprus: Say Cheese

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image halloumi cheese salad

Halloumi Cheese Salad

According to a Cyprus government spokesperson, Cyprus is losing the halloumi trademark in the UK after failing to act on time was ‘an act of suicide’ for the interests of Cyprus.

Food trademarks are big business worldwide and the failure of the commerce ministry in Cyprus to respond on time to applications filed by a British company, John & Pascalis Limited, have now led to the trademark for halloumi cheese to become something of a hot-potato in Cyprus.

Halloumi cheese is big business and the production of halloumi cheese has been going on across the island for centuries and is believed to be the birthplace of the cheese. The earliest descriptions of halloumi were recorded in the mid-1500s by an Italian visitor to Cyprus. Whether halloumi originated on the island of not, it’s plain that it’s been made here for centuries and losing the UK trademark would be like Cheddar in the UK losing its trademark to Finland.

Reports are surfacing that a governmental investigation is under way and that the the EU collective word mark of halloumi, registered on 14 July 2000, remains in force across the EU, which includes the UK, and will still be in force after Britain’s succession from the European Union on March 2019.

It seems there is some sort of problem at the department dealing with such matters within the Cypriot government, as it’s reported that the ministry has stated it’s currently handling 79 similar cases in Cyprus and overseas, with a further 64 other cases already having been dealt with.

Seems like someone in the ministry has been out to lunch too long and hasn’t had their eyes on the cheese!

Copyright Tom Kane © 2018

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