CHAMPAGNE REGION WON OBJECTION TO “CHAMPENG” TRADEMARK IN SINGAPORE
By Siulan Law Mathews DipWSET
Credit: Tristan Gassert/Unsplash
The Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) recently ruled against the registration application for the “ChamPeng” trademark from a local company, on grounds that the trademark was applied for in bad-faith.
Bad-faith in trademark application is defined as pre-emptive, unauthorised applications for trade marks that the applicant knows to have been used and developed by others, which includes dealings which would be considered as commercially unacceptable by reasonable and experienced persons in a particular trade.
The application, filed by Keep Waddling International which sells sparkling wines from Chile, was opposed by Champagne trade body, Comite Interprofessionnel Du Vin De Champagne, and the French geographical indication body, Institut National De L’origine Et De La Qualite.
The opposing parties pleaded that the trademark is deceptive, violates the Geographical Indications, will constitute the tort of passing-off, and was applied for in bad-faith.
The IPOS found that the “ChamPeng” trade mark did not violate Singapore’s Geographical Indications Act as “Champagne” and “ChamPeng” are not identical.
Source: Intellectual Property Office of Singapore
It also found that the mark was not deceptive and did not constitute passing-off, which means wrongly suggests a connection to gain advantage, as the application also consisted the tagline “unique boutique sparkling wines of Chile”.
Despite that the IPOS has found no wrongdoings in terms of deception, misuse of geographical indication, or passing-off by the application, it has found bad-faith against the applicant.
The IPOS ruled that the prefix of “Cham” is an allusion to the method of production “Methode Champenoise” which is recognised in the European Union as the production method from Champagne, while the same method used for sparkling wines produced outside of Champagne is usually described as “method traditionelle”.
It also took into account that no other sparkling wine sold online, in wine shops or supermarkets, or in restaurants and bars, have a name remotely similar to “Champagne”, and ruled that the application could be considered as commercially unacceptable by reasonable and experienced persons in a particular trade and thus satisfied the test for bad-faith.
(the writer can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org)
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