Swiss Gruyere cheese in 2016 in a market in Zumikon, Switzerland. (Arnd Wiegmann/Reuters)

With interest, sympathy and a certain sadness, I read Tyler Nottberg’s March 17 Friday Opinion essay, “A court’s decision about Gruyère stinks.” Mr. Nottberg lamented a U.S. appeals court’s decision that approved use of the generic term “gruyere,” saying that the name of this unique Swiss cheese cannot be trademarked in the United States.

Having grown up in Switzerland, I became very familiar with the different types of local cheeses and the specific regions in which they are produced. Whether it was a piece of Emmenthaler, Gruyère, Appenzeller or Sbrinz, each had its characteristic texture and flavor. Many of these cheeses are now recognized and consumed worldwide.

More than 60 years later, I still have many fond gustatory memories of the unique differences in flavor. Moreover, I am convinced that in any blind taste test, I could identify the authentic Swiss Gruyère or Emmenthaler when placed next to a generic U.S. version. The remarkable flavors of a Gruyère AOP (appellation d’Origine protégée) clearly distinguish this regional, carefully produced cheese over any generic one.

U.S. cheese producers, apparently, argued that the Europeans want to unjustly limit competition and monopolize common-name foods. But it is hard to argue about tastes and to ignore cultural and regional roots, which go back to a “gruière,” first produced in 1115 and officially named in 1655. If it’s any consolation, the generic name will not be capitalized nor be given its accented è.

Peter Dreher, Olney