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Protected Trademark

Protecting the "TRAPPIST" name

We are aware that our "family name" has economic value. It's not without reason that producers of consumer goods (who know how to appeal to the imagination of their potential customers) so often allude to the monastic world! That's why we want to protect the monastic economies which support our communities against unfair competition. 

Even before Word War II, Trappists were trying to protect the name of "Trappist beer". The monks of Orval were quite concsientious in taking the interests of the Trappists to heart by hiring a lawyer and instituting legal proceedings. Since the name “Trappist” referred to the origin of the product, any businesses which subsequently and unjustly made use of the name “Trappist” or “Trappist Beer” could be sued for dishonest business practices. On September 6, 1985, the Commercial Court in Brussels made it even more explicit:  “It is now common knowledge that customers attribute special standards of quality to products made by monastic communities, and this is especially true of Trappist monasteries."  The 'International Trappist Association' (ITA) was established and the “Authentic Trappist Product” label was created to ensure the consumer of the origin and authenticity of these products, especially in the beer market where a considerable number of brands portray themselves using a “religious” image even though the products don’t come from a monastery. 

Our label guarantees the monastic origin of the products as well as the fact that they measure up to the quality and traditional standards rooted in the monastic life of a real Trappist community.  

Twenty Trappist monasteries are members of the INTERNATIONAL TRAPPIST ASSOCIATION (ITA). Only these twenty communities can submit an application for the right to use the collective figurative AUTHENTIC TRAPPIST PRODUCT trademark (the ATP label) for their monastery's products.
 
What are the products which carry the collective AUTHENTIC TRAPPIST PRODUCT trademark at present?
 
  • The Trappist beer and the Trappist cheeses of Orval Abbey (Belgium)
  • The Trappist beers of Achel Abbey (Belgium)
  • The Trappist beers and Trappist cheeses of Westmalle Abbey (Belgium)
  • The Trappist beers and Trappist cheeses of Scourmont-Lez-Chimay Abbey (Belgium)
  • The Trappist beers of Rochefort Abbey (Belgium)
  • The Trappist beers of Westvleteren Abbey (Belgium)
  • The Trappist beers of Achel Abbey (Belgium)
  • The Trappist beers, breads, cookies, chocolate, jams, and honey of Koningshoeven Abbey in Tilburg (The Netherlands)
  • The Trappist beers and liqueurs of Stift Engelszell Abbey (Austria)
  • The Trappist liqueurs of Echt-Tegelen Abbey (The Netherlands)
  • The Trappist cheeses of Mont-des-Cats Abbey (France)
  • The Trappist beer of St. Joseph's Abbey in Spencer (USA)
  • The Trappist beer of Maria Toevlucht Abbey in Zundert (The Netherlands)
The AUTHENTIC TRAPPIST PRODUCT trademark may not be used on any other products than the products included in this list.
 
On the other hand, all products produced by the 175 Trappist monasteries throughout the entire world may be called TRAPPIST products.  The name TRAPPIST is a designation of origin.  Apart from Trappist monasteries, no one may appropriate to himself the right to use this name for any product whatsoever.
 
What are the 175 Trappist monasteries throughout the world?
You can find them listed on the website of the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance.
 
Which twenty Trappist monasteries are members of the International Trappist Association?  
You can find them listed on this website.