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August 13, 2019

Corto Olive reaches settlement with Gemsa in trademark case

Corto Olive has said it has settled a trademark infringement claim against a California-based competitor in a case dating back more than a year.

By Dean Best

Corto Olive has said it has settled a trademark infringement claim against California-based competitor Gemsa Enterprises in a case dating back more than a year.

Olive oil producer Corto filed a lawsuit last summer alleging Gemsa was infringing on its 51-49 registered trademark for its brand of blended oils, Corto said Gemsa was using packaging that was virtually indistinguishable from its own. Gemsa had disputed the claim.

In a statement, Corto said Gemsa had agreed to cease using its old packaging and has now designed new wrapping that has been approved by Corto. Gemsa also agreed to recall any unsold stock from its customers and destroy any remaining packaging under the old design that caused the dispute, along with any marketing materials.

Tom Cortopassi, a senior managing partner at Corto, said: “Corto is committed to protecting its intellectual property and to protecting our customers, including the restaurateurs and foodservice distributors nationwide, who count on our products as the standard-bearer for premium olive oils. This agreement achieves that objective.”

Corto, which has other oil brands such as Truly Extra Virgin Olive Oil and La Padella, said it had  dismissed the lawsuit against Gemsa “with prejudice”.

Gemsa’s founder and co-owner, Emilio Viscomi, added: “Gemsa Oils has now taken steps to differentiate our packaging from that of Corto Olive. We are glad to put this dispute behind us so that we can focus on our commitment to providing high quality blended oils to consumers.” 

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