TWE REGISTERED PENFOLDS TRADEMARK IN CHINA AHEAD OF DEMERGER PLAN
By Siulan Law Mathews DipWSET
Source: China Trademark Office
Australia’s Treasury Wine Estates (TWE), owner of premium wine brand Penfolds, announced that it has registered 奔富 as the Chinese transliteration trademark for the Penfolds brand with China’s trademark bureau.
Pronounced as Ben Fu and literally means running towards richness, TWE noted that it has achieved the 奔富Chinese registration after ten years of litigation in the Chinese courts and authorities.
The Penfolds brand is TWE’s crown jewel which makes more than 50 percent of the company’s profits.
TWE is planning for a demerger of the Penfolds brand onto the Australian stocks exchange as a stand-alone company in 2021.
Analysts estimate Penfolds could be worth up to AUD10 billion (USD 6.4b) as a separate business. The brand is very sought after in China where it is regarded as one the world’s top luxury wine brands.
TWE North Asia managing director Tom King said: “Protecting the integrity of our historic wine brands against trademark piracy and misappropriation has always been a priority and we have never wavered in our commitment to this endeavour,”
“We are delighted with the outcome, as it gives us even greater ability to enforce the protection of our brand in line with our zero-tolerance approach to IP infringements, including counterfeit and copycat brands.”
The 奔富 trademark is retrievable by the general public from China’s trademark bureau’s website. According to the database, the registration application was lodged by Melbourne based company Southcorp Brands PTY Ltd, which is a TWE subsidiary.
The online information also indicated that registration application was lodged on 28 October 2019 while date of approval cannot be seen.
On top of this flagship 奔富 trademark, Southcorp Brands PTY Ltd appeared to have registered dozens of Chinese transliterations for Penfolds’ various releases through the years as well.
Penfolds Max’s Reserve and Penfolds 60th Anniversary Bin 389 are two examples of the releases being registered in China.
(the writer can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org)
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