The people of Aveyron will have to “share” the famous Laguiole knives

The opinion is settled. In a decree published this Friday in the Official Journal, the National Institute of Intellectual Property (Inpi) counterpart a Geographical Indication (GI) for the world famous Laguiole knives. They now benefit from the same protection and traceability as Limoges porcelain, for example, or Aubusson tapestry.

A priori, the news should make the fifteen cutlers of the famous Aveyron town jump with joy, historical cradle famous blades, targets of many counterfeits around the world. It is not so. Because the brand new GI concerns 94 municipalities in six departments and therefore also the forty cutlers from the Thiers basin, more than 200 kilometers away, in Puy-de-Dôme. It is moreover the latter, under the banner of the association Laguiole Aubrac Auvergne knife (CLAA) who asked the Inpi for this “Laguiole Knife” IG, while the request for the “Laguiole Knife DE” IG from the Aveyronnais had been rejected in April 2022.

This rivalry at loggerheads between the two production basins is old. The Auvergnats defend some “400 jobs” in the Thiers basin and want to restore “the historical truth”. They believe that without their know-how, Laguiole craftsmanship would not have been able to reappear in Aveyron in the 1980s, when it had disappeared there, for lack of manpower, at the turn of WWI. A reading of history that the Inpi validates in its decision.

” It’s catastrophic ! »

To the chagrin of the North Aveyronnais. “We are totally appalled, it’s catastrophic! “, reacts Honoré Durand, the president of the union of Aveyron manufacturers of Laguiole knives. “In fact, this decision totally devalues ​​our product, our terroir, our know-how, believes the cutler. This state label is supposed to reassure the consumer about the origin of the product and there, now, we will not even know if the Laguiole knife is made in Allier or Aveyron, the scope is so extensive. Not to mention a rather nebulous specification. People come to Laguiole to buy a Laguiole knife, not to buy a Thiers knife”.

Caught “cold”, the Aveyronnais now want to find out if there is a legal response to the decision of the Inpi. One thing is certain, there cannot be two GIs for the same product in France. “Personally, for my business, I will not ask for it,” says Honoré Durand hotly. With a possible paradox at stake: Laguiole cutlers without IG Laguiole, and therefore with an obvious competitive handicap.

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