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A Cheese by Any Other Name: The Legal Challenge over “Gruyere”

Posted by: Anna Price

On December 15, 2021, the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia upheld an administrative decision finding that, in the United States, “gruyere” is a generic term for a type of cheese, and therefore ineligible for legal protection through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Gruyère is a geographic region of Switzerland …

Ornate red and ivory wall decoration, with plaque and symbols

Return of a Sámi Drum

Posted by: Elin Hofverberg

Sunday, February 6, marks the Sámi National Day. The Sámi people are indigenous to Sápmi, an area that spans across northern parts of Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Russia. The holiday inspired me to write a post about the recent return of a Sámi Drum to Norway. Last month, the Danish government transferred the legal ownership …

Ornate red and ivory wall decoration, with plaque and symbols

New Report on the “Lifecycle of Parliamentary Documents” Published

Posted by: Ruth Levush

A recent Law Library of Congress report describes the parliamentary document process in 10 jurisdictions around the world. The report, titled the Lifecycle of Parliamentary Documents, summarizes the findings of research conducted by foreign law specialists in the Law Library’s Global Legal Research Directorate based on legal sources from the jurisdictions surveyed. The report is …

Ornate red and ivory wall decoration, with plaque and symbols

Santa Laws

Posted by: Jennifer Davis

If your family celebrates Christmas and expects a visit from Santa Claus, you and yours are hoping for a successful visit from the jolly old elf and his reindeer. Local, federal and foreign governments are doing their regulatory best to speed his mail and ease his journey across borders with foreign livestock, regardless of his …

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New Report on Children and Data Protection Laws in Ireland

Posted by: Kelly Goles

The following is a guest post by Clare Feikert-Ahalt, a senior foreign law specialist at the Law Library of Congress covering the United Kingdom and several other jurisdictions. Clare has written numerous posts for In Custodia Legis, including 100 Years of “Poppy Day” in the United Kingdom; Weird Laws, or Urban Legends?; FALQs: Brexit Referendum; and The UK’s Legal Response to the London …

The picture shows a row of houses inside the Fuggerei.

500-Year Anniversary of the Fuggerei – the Oldest Social Housing Complex in the World

Posted by: Jenny Gesley

This blog post describes the "Fuggerei" in Augsburg, Germany - the oldest existing social housing complex in the world. The Fuggerei was established on August 23, 1521 by Jakob Fugger "the Rich," a wealthy merchant. In order to be eligible for housing, a person must be Catholic, needy, respectable, and a citizen of Augsburg. The yearly rent is Euros 0.88.

Ornate red and ivory wall decoration, with plaque and symbols

Grizzly Bears and the Endangered Species Act

Posted by: Jenny Gesley

My favorite week of the year is “Fat Bear Week,” an annual competition organized by Katmai National Park in Alaska to crown the bear that managed to pack on the most weight over the summer. Bears are fascinating animals to me, which might also have to do with the fact that I am from Germany, …