Champagne Champion

Look out with Champagne! No, this is not an anti-drinking campaign. Actually, we love Champagne.

No, this is a warning for the use of the name Champagne. This name is a protected geographical appelation of origin and is closely monitored by the Comité Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne (CIVC).

In the Netherlands, there has been a case one year ago between a hair product with the edition “Champagne”. CIVC objected to this use and won the lawsuit.

And now again CIVC successfully opposes the European trademark Rita & Champagne for a restaurant (in Madrid). The opposition is based on an infringement of an “unregistered right”, in this case the geographical appelation of origin. Under the French law you can object the use and registration of a trademark on the basis of a geographical appelation in the event if that use is likely to exploit or weaken the reputation of the appellation of origin.

The Ohim acknowledges the French right and shares the view of CIVC and rejects the European trademark. The question is whether this opposition case is the prelude for a lawsuit against the use of this name, for now it is sufficient reason to open a bottle of Champagne to celebrate the victory!

Arnaud Bos

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