Paillard threatens court action over “identical” Bollinger bottle

6th August, 2012 by Patrick Schmitt

Bruno Paillard is threatening to take Bollinger to court over its new bottle design.

Bruno Paillard founded Champagne Bruno Paillard in 1981

The chairman of of Lanson-BCC has released a statement stressing that Bollinger’s new bottle, which was launched just over two months ago, is an identical shape to the vessel used for Champagne Bruno Paillard.

“We have superimposed pictures of their bottle on ours and recorded that they were rigorously idential,” he said.

“We will of course ask for an expert opinion on their bottle, and if it turns out they are the exact same model, we will have to start a judicial process, our bottle being registered in many countries.”

Bollinger’s new bottle shape was unveiled to the press at the London International Wine Fair on 22 May this year.

As reported by the drinks business at the time, the new packaging was inspired by a bottle of Bollinger from 1846 found in the company’s cellars, and will be used across the entire range, starting with the Brut NV Special Cuvée.

The bottle, with a slightly broader base and narrower neck, mimics the shape of a magnum and hence it is believed it will reduce the oxygen contact with the Champagne compared to a standard bottle.

This change should mean that oxidation of the Champagne in the bottle will take place at a slightly slower rate, which, Bollinger says, will be somewhere between that for a standard bottle and a magnum.

However, Paillard pointed out that his bottle, which was released in 1984, was shaped to “increase the surface between the wine and the lees, increasing the complexity of our wines.”He added, “This antique shape may remind of a small magnum, but it is not its goal.”

Bruno Paillard bottle

Bollinger bottle

Meanwhile, Bollinger released a statement this morning stressing that the new shape was inspired by a historic bottle found in the Champagne house’s cellars, and hence not a copy of a format from any other producer.

“We do not wish to comment directly on claims made last week regarding the redesigned shape of our bottle,” it began.

“However, as explained at the initial launch in May, we would like to underline the fact that this redesign drew inspiration from the collection of bottles in our cellars which date back to the mid-19th century.”

2 Responses to “Paillard threatens court action over “identical” Bollinger bottle”

  1. Dirk-Antoon Samyn says:

    As far I can see, the bottles are not absolutely the same. Paillard’s bottle neck seems to me a bit finer and longer.
    But for me this is not the real issue, but a rather cheap attempt or (marketing) trick to attract attention.
    What has this to do with the quality of the wines?
    On the other hand, if Bollinger can come up with proof, examples and/or clear pictures of their bottles from 1846, then Paillard could maybe be in trouble?

  2. The bottles llook slightly different to me also. If the bottle from 1846 exists that doesn’t mean nothing if Bruno Paillard used and registered the design first.
    Anyway I think the bottle design cannot confuse the consumer as the graphic and colors are completely different.

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