Wine and dine and fine

Castel, a large French wine merchant has lost its lengthy legal battle over the company’s trademark in China.

The trademark infringement lawsuit was brought against Castel by Chinese wine distributor Panati Wine (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. Panati Wine is owner of the Chinese trademark Kasite (卡斯特), the phonetic rendition of Castel in Chinese.

The Zhejiang Provincial Higher People’s Court ruled that Castel must stop using (its own) Chinese trademark Kasite on its wines. Furthermore, the have to pay a fine EUR 4.3 millon and issue a public apology through the China Industry & Commerce News publication.

Often such cases are based on counterfeit Chinese products, but this time it’s different: wine distribution company Panati Wine started in the 1990s, aiming to introduce Spanish wines to the Chinese wine market. They applied for the registration of trademark Kasite in 1998.

After the original verdict, both Castel and Panati submitted appeals, but the higher court upheld the previous verdict, ordering an extra published apology from Castel.

Recently The Castel Group announced its new registered Chinese trademark Kasidaile (卡思黛乐) in March 2013.

Erwin Hauër

“Hope is not a strategy.”

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