‘We spend hundreds of thousands of euros each year on brand protection in China,’ Prot said. ‘It’s an ongoing battle and it’s not one that we always win, but we persevere.’
Copy wine is a often reported issue in China, if hard to quantify, but the ability of foreign wine chateaux and estates to secure trademark protection is also a recurring theme.
Castel has been relatively successful at securing a foothold in China’s emerging wine market, but it remains in a legal dispute with a Chinese distributor over the Ka-Si-Te name, arguably one of the best known
The case has been referred to China’s Supreme Court, and a 30m Chinese yuan fine (£3m) initially levied on Castel has been suspended pending a fresh hearing. The French group has global annual sales of around €1.1bn.
Anson on Thursday: French wine’s largest family business
Earlier this year, China’s Ministry of Commerce approved a list of official translations for well loved wine terms, including many Bordeaux chateau names. It is the first of its kind, but the list was understood to have been devised as a guideline rather than a mandatory condition for wine companies wishing to use Chinese translations.
Read on DecanterChina.com: China approves first official translation guide for wine terms
Several wine place names have gained greater legal protection in China in recent years, with Napa Valley and Champagne both enjoying protected status. Bordeaux was added to the list in July this year and talks were underway to extend the deal to specific Bordeaux appellations.
Read: Bordeaux gets GI
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