The German international footballer, Bastian Schweinsteiger of Bayen Munich has won a legal battle to stop a sausage being named in his honour. Schweinsteiger, 22, took a meat product wholesaler (Fleischgroßhändler) from Aichach-Friedberg in Bavaria to court when he found out that it was selling a new type of Rostbratwurst under his nickname ‘Schweini’.
Though the sausage is made of pork (Schweinswürstl) and ‘Schweini’ means ‘Piggy’, the court convicted the company of infringing the rights of the claimant and ordered it to provide details of profits made on the sausage so that damages may be assessed. It also ruled that from now on the company has to delete the brand name, already registered at the German Patent and Trademark Office (GPTO), and may only use it subsequently with Schweinsteiger’s consent and
Schweinsteiger means ‘pig-climber’. ‘How the 22-year-old’s ancestors came by this moniker I am not sure,’ writes Harry Pearson in today’s Guardian. ‘Perhaps scaling pigs is a job in Germany. Maybe it was once a popular hobby.’
Two years ago the player won the German national silliest name competition, a title that was stolen from him last year by the Bavarian environment minister Werner Schnapauf, who declared, ‘I am proud of my name. It reminds me of the mountain streams that sustain my Alpen people’.
The ‘Schweini’ sausage affair is not the first time the footballer’s name has been associated with food. In its Kinderkarte, or Children’s Menu, the Max und Moritz German restaurant in Shanghai serves Pommes Frites ‘Schweinsteiger’. The menu also pays tribute to other German, and particularly Bayern soccer stars, with dishes such as Hot Dog ‘Michael Ballack’, Franz Becken ‘Burger’, Klinsi’s Pasta mit Tomatensoße, Poldi’s Deep-fired Chicken Nuggets, Lahm Fruit Salad, and Völler Cream.
When Germany lost 4-1 to Italy in a pre-World Cup friendly last year, the Bild newspaper compared the players to pizza ingredients under the headline ‘Pizza Quattro Gegentori’ (Pizza of four goals conceded). In a photo montage, striker Miroslav Klose had the body of an onion, and midfielder Sebastian Deisler was likened to a can of tuna fish. Striker Lukas Podolski was nicknamed ‘Poldi the asparagus’ and captain Michael Ballack was said to have ‘played like a sausage.’ Midfielder Bernd Schneider, finally, appeared was a clove of garlic since, so Bild claimed, his performance ‘stank.’
Max und Moritz