A geographical indication (GI) "
" was awarded Friday, September 23 by the National Institute of Intellectual Property (INPI) to the famous knife adorned with a bee, after decades of battles at loggerheads between cutlers of the Massif Central , and against counterfeit manufacturers.
An artisanal or industrial geographical indication (GI) is an official sign of quality and origin that assures consumers of the authenticity of the products they buy, allowing manufacturers to enhance their products and protect their know-how from counterfeiting. .
The Laguiole folding, sommelier and table knives that will have the right to claim the label must have been manufactured in 94 towns in six departments: Aveyron, where the small town of Laguiole is located, giving its name to the knife, Lozère, Cantal, Loire, Allier and Puy-de-Dôme, where the cutlery town of Thiers is located, which had taken over the manufacture of these knives since the 19th century, indicates the INPI in a press release.
After the rejection in April of an equivalent request emanating only from the knife manufacturers of Aubrac and northern Aveyron, the request filed by the craftsmen of Thiers in the name of "
know-how established for more than 150 years in the Massif Central
” was successful.
Reboot in the 80s
Appeared in the middle of the 19th century in Laguiole, this knife with its characteristic shape had a catchment area linked to the farming activity of the region, famous for its meat and cheese.
But its manufacture from the start was ensured in Laguiole and in the Thiernois basin.
Since the 1980s, the local production of knives in Laguiole had resumed after having disappeared for almost a century, around a group of young cutlers who intended to keep for themselves the prestige of the Laguiole name, sold throughout the world.
A legal battle opposed the two production sites of the Massif Central since the beginning of the 90s. The INPI investigation file went back to the Middle Ages to prove the historical know-how of Thiers, traced since the 14th century century,
The steeple battle was coupled with a gigantic legal battle waged by the inhabitants of Laguiole against an entrepreneur from Val-de-Marne who had registered the "
" brand in 1993, by having knives and knives manufactured under license. other objects (clothing, furniture, toys, etc.) in countries with low labor costs.
In September 2012, the inhabitants and craftsmen of Laguiole had even symbolically renamed their village to denounce the “
” of its name by this entrepreneur, Gilbert Szajner.
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Thirteen other artisanal or industrial GIs have been approved by the INPI since the entry into force of the system in 2015: the "
seat of Liffol
", the "
granite of Brittany
", the "
porcelain of Limoges
", the "
stone of Burgundy
charentaise from Charente-Périgord
marble stones from Rhône-Alpes
the absolute Pays de Grasse
", and "
Soufflenheim/Betschdorf pottery from Alsace