Found this tidbit about a Lebanese plot to attack Israel over misappropriation of tasty food items on Above the Law. This article is an amazing example about how intellectual property rights and decisions relating to them can be misconstrued at every level – from the party seeking vindication of a right to the media reporting on the topic.
The article and the assertions in it are simply inarticulate. There is a reference to a “food copyright”; a reference to foods that “the Lebanese considered their trademarks”; the notion that an EU decision on feta as a geographic indication is precedential in Lebanon and/or Israel (it could be – but I couldn’t find any authority to support it); and the claim that because foods such as tabouleh, kubbeh, hummus, falafel and fattoush had been produced in Lebanon prior to Israel’s establishment, Lebanon has the right to be their sole producer. (Since Lebanon attained statehood only five years before Israel did, and those foods were clearly being made in those lands (and others) perhaps even centuries before the establishment of today’s borders, this claim is feeble). The conclusion that “the Lebanese Industrialists Association is working on registering all the foods and ingredients and submitting a report to the Lebanese government since only it can appeal to the international courts against Israel and ‘prevent it from stealing the foods that others produce'” — well, it’s breathtaking.
Can’t we all just get along and enjoy a good meal?