A tale of two bottles of Petrus and a victory for an underdog

Petrus Lambertini first launched its wines in 2011 having secured the trademark for “Petrus Lambertini Major Burdegalensis 1208” – a reference to Bordeaux’s first mayor, who in 1208 refused to hand the keys of the city to the besieging forces of the King of Castile in Spain. Over in Pomerol the makers of Petrus Grand Vin were not happy - especially about those words "2nd Vin"on the newcomer's label. They trotted off to court to argue that the 10 pound a bottle Lambertini was misleading because consumers would think it was the 1800 pound Petrus’ “second wine” – of which there isn’t one made.
Initially, a court upheld Château Petrus’ case, agreeing that there was a risk that consumers would confuse the two wines and fined CGM, the producer of Petrus Lambertini, ordering it to halt sales of wines under that name.
However CGM appealed the decision in another court, which not only accepted that two labels are “radically different”, rejecting Chateau Petrus’ claims that its use of the name was misleading, but complimented CGM on “their clever use of the trademark which they registered in order to attract the customer’s attention.”
The new ruling allows CGM to resume sales of its Petrus Lambertini brand.
Chateau Petrus is expected to launch a counter-appeal to a higher court – the Court of Cassation – to assess the legality of the decision made by the appeals court.


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