Les 5 du Vin

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Can Veuve Clicquot affect your sight/ judgment?

3 Commentaires

The orange label of Ciro Picariello

The yellow orange of Veuve Clicquot

Champagne giant Veuve Clicquot, part of the LVMH group, is reported to be suing Ciro Picariello, a small Italian producer in Campania over the alleged similarity of their labels. See story on Wine Searcher.

Given the striking lack of similarity between the two labels you have to wonder whether a close association with Veuve Clicquot can make you colour blind and affect your judgment? It certainly appears to have that effect on their executives!
As Diana Goodman comments in the Wine Searcher news story: ‘Ciro Picariello, a family owned winery in Campania, produces just 3,500 bottles of its fiano-based Brut Contadino each year, and sports a distinctive orange label.’  
So not only is there no similarity between the two labels, Ciro Picariello poses no commercial threat to Veuve Clicquot. This is just another highly unpleasant example of pernicious corporate bullying. Unfortunately Veuve Clicquot has past form here – in early 2001 they successfully intimidated the Stefano Lubiana Winery in Tasmania using legal threats claiming that the colour of the Lubiana labels were similar to those of Veuve Clicquot – they weren’t, although the difference was perhaps not quite as stark as in this new case.
Back in 2001 social media hardly existed, it will be interesting to see whether social media pressure this time can persuade Veuve Clicquot to back off realising that their ludicrous legal action damages the reputation of Veuve Clicquot Champagne.     
(In the light of Veuve Clicquot’s ludicrous corporate bullying, I have taken the unusual step of adding an additional post on Tuesday. Jim)

Auteur : Les 5 du Vin

Journalistes en vin

3 réflexions sur “Can Veuve Clicquot affect your sight/ judgment?

  1. Jim, as a former Veuve Clicquot employee, I can only agree with what you say here. This is absurd and unfair. Nobody "owns" a colour, any more than no one place or country "owns" a grape variety. If there has beeen some attempt to imitate graphics, or the brand name, then one could understand. But the only link here is a vague colour ressemblance. This kind of bullying shpuld be denounced and laughed at and actually does no good (the reverse in fact) to the VC brand.

  2. Much conversation – a blend of merriment and outrage at the annual New Zealand wine tasting in London today. As you say only harms Veuve Clicquot’s reputation. Why would you want to drink a bully’s Champagne?

  3. I agree with the sentiments. However, David says no-one owns a colour, but, like it or not, according to http://www.internationallawoffice.com, "MHCS has registered the colour (i.e. yellow-orange corresponding to Pantone 137C) as a Benelux trademark (under Registration Number 746608) and a Community trademark (under Registration Number 747949) for goods in Class 33, consisting exclusively of the colour in question. The label used on its champagne bottles, which is the same colour, was registered as a Community trademark on April 26 2007 under Registration Number 5069711 for goods in a number of classes, including Class 33 (which covers sparkling wines". It was that trademark registration that enabled MHCS to sue Cava Don Jaime successfully even though Don Jaime’s label colour was Pantone 1375C because the court decided in its wisdom that the colours were not significantly different.

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