The European Court of Justice has rejected a bid by Italy to continue marketing Tocai Friulano wine after 2007 when an agreement permitting its use of the name expires.

The European Union agreed in 1993 that the name Tokai should be reserved for Hungary after 2007, because of its established Tokaj geographical indication.

Judges rejected Italian arguments that the Fruili Tocai's established use to describe a wine variety trumped Hungary's rights to protect a geographical designation named in the 1993 EC-Hungary Agreement on Wines.

The Italian name is not protected in the agreement and the court even rejected claims that Tocai winegrowers were owed compensation.