Champagne industry chiefs have lost their battle to ban a Spanish fizzy drink for kidsnamed Champín, which they claimed was trying to make illegal use of their famous brand.
But Spain’s Supreme Court threw out on Monday the complaint by the Comité Interprofessionel Du Vin de Champagne, which had called for the banning of the Champín brand as well as all bottles already on the market to be withdrawn.
The Champagne industry is fiercely protective over its name and appellation – meaning only products made within the geographical region of Champagne can be classed as “champagne”.
Anything claiming to be Champagne that was made outside the region, or claiming to include Champagne when it does not, is liable to be banned from sale.
But the Champagne industry, which is perhaps used to getting its own way, lost its bid to take the fizz out of Champín, which is sold for under three euros in all major supermarkets in Spain.
Spain’s Supreme Court ruled that the name of the fizzy drink, a fruits of the forest and strawberry-flavoured drink for children, did not make consumers think that the product was made from Champagne – or had anything to do with the luxury beverage.
It ruled that Champín did not infringe Champagne's appellation and that the children's drink – made by Industrias Espadafor, was “unconnected” to the famous French tipple.
Any apparent similarities, the court ruled, were “weak and irrelevant”. “In this case the product Champín differs enough with respect to those products protected by the champagne appellation, that the phonetic similarity does not evoke the product,” the ruling stated.