Champagne stops Champaws

Within trademark law we are familiar with the protection of Designations of Origin. These are terms that can only be used by companies if they meet certain strict conditions, for example, the ingredients should come from a certain area and the product is made in a certain way. This also applies to the term CHAMPAGNE.


The name is protected and projects an image of luxury. This protection is not limited to sparkling wine but goes far beyond that. When a company launches a new brand for animal food and a dog beverage under the name CHAMPAWS, the Champagne interest group (CIVC) successfully objects.

The packaging resembles a champagne bottle and the visuals clearly link to the luxury image of Champagne, which is detrimental to the reputation of the Champagne name. The European authorities refuse the trademark.

Be advised that the CIVC fiercely protects “Champagne” in all its forms. For example, Unilever could remove the celebratory “Andrelon Champagne shampoo” from the market earlier and this winter Homeland Brewery had to recall its people’s-champagne (beer). (Source image: opposition file EUIPO)


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MENTOS has been selling chewing gum under the name MENTOS PURE FRESH for several years. In order to protect her rights MENTOS has registered the following trademarks: the logo MENTOS PURE FRESH, the logo MENTOS PURE FRESH 3 and a figurative depiction of the word PURE. Defendant sells chewing gum under the trademark DENTYNE PURE and has registered its logo as a trademark. Infringement or not?