The court of appeal in Aix-en-Provence yesterday allowed a producer from Lozère to continue using the name ‘coeur de vache’ (heart of the cow) for its cheese.
The name had been challenged by the cheese giant, Richesmonts, which makes the well-known ‘coeur de lion’ camembert brand, sold in supermarkets across France.
“Against all the odds, we won. This is huge!” said Jean-Claude Serres who runs the small producer with his wife, Ghislaine. She told Midi-Libre “I hope this will encourage others who have the right not to be pressurised by the powerful.”
Richesmonts brought the action because it believed the name could cause confusion with their own cheese. This was dismissed by the lawyer acting for the Serres. “How can you confuse a cow with a lion?” he said. “Nothing is the same. The colour, the packaging, even the shape. The spirit is even different: ‘coeur de lion’ sounds historical while ‘coeur de vache’ has a much more rural feel.”
There was no official comment from the Richesmonts group after the decision.