How to make your mark. Champagne & Trademarks.

How to make your mark, champagne and trademarks

Veuve Clicquot is one of the grandest names in  Champagne and well established in the world of luxury. It was founded in 1772 by Philippe Clicquot in Reims and is now a big house brand within the LVMH group being acquired in 1987 and joining other big champagne names in that group such as Dom Perignon and Moët & Chandon. 

In 2007 Veuve Clicquot registered a trademark on its signature orange colour and was one of the very few brands able to do so as this involves a very complex trademark process. Some time later, Lidl, the famous German grocery retailer, tried to sell some sparkling wines with the same orange label and found itself infringing on Veuve Clicquot’s trademark rights. The EUIPO initially sided with Veuve Clicquot as they had determined that the Champagne house had distinctiveness over the 27 member state block. Lidl opposed, stating that Veuve Clicquot’s colour trademark was invalid since colours could only be registered as trademarks throughout Europe if consumers in ALL EU member states recognised them as such and they did not believe Veuve Clicquot to have satisfied that criteria. 

On March 6th 2024, the European General Court agreed with Lidl and found that at least two member states were missing in order for them to fulfil the criteria necessary to trademark the infamous orange colour. Trademarks, names and more are instrumental to Champagne houses to make them distinguishable from their competitors and be a memorable name in the sea of choice. From small to big Champagne houses they also struggle with issues similar to these but it must be noted that a trademark on colour is an exceptional and unique trademark which is even more uncommon.

Written by Iona Steger

 

Citations: 

 

Bas. “Lidl Attacks Vueve Clicquot’s Colour Trademark.” Chiever, December 12, 2018. https://chiever.nl/en/blog/lidl-attacks-vueve-clicquots-colour-trademark. 

Tfl. “What a Trademark Loss for Veuve Clicquot Means for Other Brands .” The Fashion Law, March 19, 2024. https://www.thefashionlaw.com/what-a-trademark-loss-for-lvmhs-veuve-clicquot-means-for-brands-in-the-eu/#:~:text=This%20resulted%20in%20an%20August,the%20shade%20of%20orange%20%5Bat. 

Veuve Clicquot, Exceptional Champagne – Wines & Spirits.” LVMH. Accessed April 2, 2024. https://www.lvmh.com/houses/wines-spirits/veuve-clicquot/. 

Photo: “Tambov, Russian Federation – August 16, 2015 Bottle of Champagne Veuve Clicquot Brut in box” https://stock.adobe.com/es/search?k=veuve+clicquot

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