Beware of Champagne! Not drinking this delicious wine, but beware of the use of the name Champagne. Because this name is a protected geographical indication (PDO) and defended tooth and nail by CIVC, the trade association for Champagne winegrowers. Only the chosen ones who really make champagne are allowed to put the name on their bottle, abuse will be punished. And as you can imagine, CIVC observes the trademark register closely as only the selected growers are allowed to register trademarks with Champagne. Against other applications, for wine or other products and services, CIVC files an opposition or acts otherwise. Probably a Luxembourg company didn’t know this and filed the trademark ChampagneCharly. CIVC filed the opposition on the basis of the protected geographical indication and argued that, according to the rules of Directive relating to the protection of geographical indications, abuse was made of the name Champagne as the Applicant took unfair advantage of the name and reputation of Champagne. Some impressive were given to stress this point: in 2014 350 million bottles were shipped, amounting to a turnover of 4,5 billion euros. So, EUIPO admits that the significance of the PDO Champagne is not merely local and that the opposition is well founded. The application is rejected.
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