07/10/2014 - “Champagne” vs “Champagnotèque”, another interesting decision concerning GIs

Recently, the 4-year dispute opposing the appellation of origin “Champagne” and the figurative Community Trade Mark Application (CTMA) “Champagnotèque” came to an end.

The case started in 2010, when the figurative CTMA “Champagnotèque” was filed at the Office for the Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM) for products of class 33 covering “wine with the designation of origin "Champagne" and services in classes 35, 41 and 43 exclusively related to the sale and promotion of “wine with the designation of origin Champagne". The “Comité Interprofessionnel du vin de Champagne (CIVC)”- the inter-professional body in charge of the designation of origin “Champagne”- opposed the registration based on Article 8(4) of Regulation (EC) No 207/2009 on the Community trade mark (sign used in the course of trade of more than mere local significance, in particular the appellation d’origine "CHAMPAGNE"). 

In 2013, the OHIM upheld the opposition of CIVC rejecting the CTMA “Champagnotèque” for all goods and services referred (OPPOSITION n° B 1 805 079 ), even though the goods were restricted exclusively to Champagne and the services exclusively to the sales and promotion of Champagne. The decision of the OHIM was based on the fact that “Champagnotèque” was visually, phonetically and conceptually similar to “Champagne” and the appellation d’origine "CHAMPAGNE" was vested an exceptional reputation.

The applicant filed an appeal but subsequently the CTM application was withdrawn and the OHIM closed the procedure (DECISION of 10 July 2014 R 1413/2013-5 ). 

 

This summary has been extracted from an "oriGIn Alert", which is a service reserved exclusively to oriGIn members.  

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