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Laguiole tableware advice needed

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Hi. I think I heard or read that like "Sabatier", the name "Laguiole" is used by many different makers of varying levels of quality, from the highest to very low. Is this true? If it is can anyone direct me to where I might learn how to make my way through that maze?

In particular I'm looking for some table cutlery and I have found Laguiole "Debutante" range that falls suspiciously in my price range. It says made in France, so that's something, but...

PS It was always my ambition when I had a couple of hundred spare to get a top of the range corkscrew and Laguiole made the one I wanted. I was waiting for that moment when I could indulge in paying a ridiculous price for something I could get for $2 that did the same job . Since then stelvin screw caps have taken over here in Australia, even in the upper echelons of wine producers. Glad I never got round to buying that corkscrew. I got a $5 one that I use a few times a year.

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  1. yes, there's a huge uproar going on in France right now, because no one ever trademarked the words "Laguiole" until recently -- and then it was trademarked by a Parisian who just saw a way to grab some easy cash on the way by. He trademarked the name, which makes the companies who have been in the village for centuries outside the law. His company is making stuff in Asia and importing it with the Laguiole name.

    Here''s a recent video that aired on the news: http://www.france24.com/en/20121020-b...

    "Forge de Laguiole" are the knives physically made in Laguiole.

    2 Replies
    1. re: sunshine842

      sunshine, doesn't french trademark law allow those using the name before the trademark to continue its use? even more importantly, how was a trademark granted in the first place when the name did not denote a unique product from a specific party?

      1. re: alkapal

        those are all questions for the French intellectual-property courts -- I cannot imagine how (other than large sums of money) it was upheld on the first go-round.

        I agree with you on all aspects...but that's what the situation is.

    2. That explains it. I was gifted some Laguiole wannabe steak knives and wondered what was up. BTW jhamiltonwa, I have your Laguiole corkscrew thanks to a gift card from a high-end kitchen store. It collects dust while I use my $5 tool. My wife favors Australia Shiraz, so I don't use either very often.