23rd January, 2014 by Lauren Eads
Veuve Clicquot has clarified its position after reports emerged claiming it had launched legal action against an Italian sparkling wine producer in a dispute over the colour of its labels.
Earlier this week reports emerged in the Italian media claiming that the Champagne house was preparing to sue Campania-based winery Ciro Picariello over claims the label for its Brut Contadino was too similar to its own Yellow Label Champagne.
In a statement Veuve Clicquot said it is not “to date” suing the winery, but that it had informed its owners of the similarity of their label to its own famous “yellow label” Champagne, suggesting that their label could “evolve” to avoid confusion.
The family-owned winery produce 3,500 bottles a year of its sparkling wine featuring an orange label which, it was reported, Veuve Clicquot felt could cause people to confuse the two causing damage to its brand.
A spokesperson for the Champagne house said: “The internationally recognised Veuve Clicquot ‘Yellow Label’ has covered the bottles for more than 130 years, as an emblem of the Maison, of its excellence in wine elaboration and of the audacious and innovative woman who was at its helm; Barbe-Nicole Clicquot Ponsardin.
“Veuve Clicquot conducts an active and extensive worldwide policy to enforce its trademark rights against any kind of infringement and in most of the cases the issues raised are amicably settled.
“The “Clicquot Yellow” colour is trademarked in the EU, USA and Australia.
“In compliance with this policy Veuve Clicquot approached Ciro Picariello at the end of 2013 to inform them of the similarity between the colours of their labels and requested if the Ciro Picariello label colour could evolve to avoid any risk of association between the two products.
“Contrary to what has been stated, to date, Veuve Clicquot has not entered into a lawsuit against Ciro Picariello and continues to sustain an amicable conversation.”
Veuve Clicquot is the second-largest Champagne house in the world and produces up to 18 million bottles per year with an annual turnover of about $1.6 billion.