Collective trademark status secured by Cognac is being used by Bordeaux to combat counterfeiting in China

Vendredi 03 juillet 2020 par Vitisphere

 The conviction secured by the CIVB was publicised at a press conference and could act as a deterrent for other counterfeiters.
The conviction secured by the CIVB was publicised at a press conference and could act as a deterrent for other counterfeiters. - crédit photo : CIVB

Cognac is now registered as a collective brand in China”, announces the Cognac marketing bureau BNIC, hailing “additional legal protection for the Cognac appellation” in its second largest consumer market worldwide. The same regulatory tool has in fact just been used by the Bordeaux wine marketing council, following a complaint for counterfeiting in its leading export market. On 4 June, at the Pudong court in Shanghai, “Bordeaux became the first collective brand to win a victory in criminal proceedings in China (for both Chinese and foreign brands)”, announced the organisation.

By adapting to Chinese regulations, the French geographical indications are broadening their means of counter-attack in the event of counterfeiting. “The new legal tool stemming from brand law will be extremely useful to us in ramping up our level of protection”, said Edouard de Kervenoaël, legal counsel for the Cognac appellation, in a press release. His statement is confirmed by his Bordeaux counterpart: “Our victory in the criminal court on 4 June completes the legal arsenal available to the CIVB to curb counterfeiting”.

After directly filing a complaint for counterfeiting, in March 2019 the CIVB seized counterfeit wines on a stand at the Chengdu wine fair. “The Pudong court in Shanghai sentenced the defendant to an 18-month suspended prison sentence and fines of RMB 100,000 (€13,000) for his company and RMB 50,000 (€6,500) personally, for a trademark counterfeiting offence involving a batch of nearly 10,000 bottles”, reports the CIVB, which hopes that “the case, with this solid legal foundation, [may] act as a catalyst and encourage the various Chinese authorities and administrations to pursue and bring similar cases to a successful conclusion”.

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