A long-running legal case over the trademark rights to the word ‘Stilton’ could return to the courts, after the European Court of Justice (ECJ) rejected a potential settlement.

Its Court of First Instance has ruled a letter from Italian Elisabetta Dami that she was minded not to use the proposed trademark ‘Geronimo Stilton’ to market cheese – in the teeth of opposition from Britain’s Stilton Cheese Makers Association – was not binding. Its decision clears the way for further legal action over the issue at the court and the European Union’s Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (Trade Marks and Designs).