Arla believes skyr is generic word for yoghurt

Arla believes 'skyr' is generic word for yoghurt

Arla Foods has been told to stop selling yoghurt sold using the name "skyr" in Finland following a legal challenge from Icelandic group MS Dairies.

A Finnish court backed MS Dairies' assertion the phrase was not a generic type of yoghurt but one of the company's trademarks.

Arla said it disagreed with the ruling and was looking into whether to appeal.

"Generally, Arla firmly believes that skyr is a generic word that should not be monopolised by any single entity in any country. The fact that several other dairy companies and supermarkets are also marketing and selling skyr – in Finland as well as in other markets – in our view supports our position," Arla told just-food.

"Furthermore, the attempt of MS Dairies to monopolise the word skyr has so far failed - apart from in Finland - with other trademark authorities recognising that skyr is a generic product description, which cannot and should not be monopolised by one single entity."

Arla sells yoghurt using the name skyr in markets including the UK. When the co-op launched the product in the UK this spring, it described skyr as a "fermented dairy product, originating from Iceland, where it has been produced for more than a thousand years".