You are currently viewing the International Edition. You can also switch to the Hong Kong Edition.
Tuesday 30 June 2015

China hotel chain drops Penfolds

8th August, 2014 by Rupert Millar

InterContinental Hotels in China has dropped Australian brand Penfolds from its wine lists over fears of being embroiled in a trademark battle.

Penfolds GrangeThe Australian Financial Review reported that the chain has unlisted the famous label from all 214 of its hotels across China amid fears it could be dragged into a legal dispute between Treasury and a “notorious” Chinese trademark squatter called Li Daozhi, who has already successfully sued French company Castel.

Treasury Wine Estates has moved quickly to defuse the more sensational implications of the news.

In a statement to the drinks business, Treasury announced: “The media report in the Australian Financial Review (6 August) on this case does not contain all the relevant facts and is based on internal customer information leaked to the media.

“TWE continues to work closely with our customers and business partners in China to address any trademark concerns they may have, and we do not intend to provide commentary on these confidential commercial discussions.

“TWE remains totally committed to protecting the integrity of our flagship Penfolds brand, so that our customers in China can continue to buy and stock Penfolds wines with absolute confidence”.

Li has apparently trademarked the Chinese names of a wide variety of brands and companies in China that the respective companies have neglected to do.

Castel suffered a stinging courtroom defeat last year and were forced to pay 33.7 million yuan (€5m) to Li.

Penfolds has been in a legal battle with the same person since 2011 and has apparently won an initial case which is now being appealed.

InterContinental’s contract is estimated to be 5,000 cases a year or some 5% of Penfolds’ China shipments.

So far three Chinese names for Penfolds, which roughly translates to “chasing prosperity” apparently, have been listed in China the most recent in 2013 – two years after the legal battle began.

In an email sent to hotel managers in late July, InterContinental’s food and beverage manager Tim Stanhope, wrote:  “In order to play it safe, it’s better that hotels stop selling the wine until there is a court ­judgement announced.”

Although the Financial Review suggested that other on- and off-trade chains may follow suit, Treasury stressed that this was not the case.

No other businesses have so far followed InterContinental’s example or show any signs of doing so.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

If that's interesting, how about these?

Beer festival in China’s Muslim area angers 'exiles'

In China’s predominantly Muslim region of Xinjiang, exiled groups of Uighur more...

Chinese student builds house out of beer bottles

An engineering graduate and his father have built a two-storey house made out more...

MMD bolsters Italian portfolio with Mazzei

Maisons Marques et Domaines has extended its Italian portfolio with the more...

Hatch Mansfield – Brand Manager

London, United Kingdom

Competitive salary

Parker retrospective boosts 05 Palmer

Château Palmer’s 2005 is the latest wine from that vintage to see an more...

Chilean brand looks back to move forward

Chilean producer Santa Carolina has launched an “icon” wine with a more...

Winemaker fined $35k over toxic waste

An Australian winemaker has been fined AUS$35,000 (£17,000) after he was found more...

PR Senior Account Manager/Director

London, United Kingdom

Depending on experience

Bordeaux 2005: Biggest movers

Expectation surrounding the 2005s is building and pushing up prices for top more...

Benevolent launches Ambassador drive

UK drinks trade charity The Benevolent is calling for volunteers from the trade more...

Top 10 wines in the US press

An impressive Tannat-Merlot-Zinfandel blend from Uruguay and a Vernaccia from more...

Supplier Relationship Manager

London, United Kingdom

China’s Ningxia region launches wine contest

Select winemakers will have the chance to travel to China to learn from its more...

En primeur: beware the heralded vintage?

From an investment point of view it is best to buy the “vintages of the more...

Burgundian négociant celebrates gin smuggler

Burgundian négociant, Vallet Frères, has allowed a special bottling of more...

Business Development Executive

London, United Kingdom

£25-£30K + benefits, depending on experience

Gene makes alcohol 'healthy' for the liver

A lab rat study pioneered in Shanghai has found a gene that turns alcohol into more...

Austrian wine importer launches in Hong Kong

A wine importer specialising in Austrian wines has launched in Hong Kong to more...

Tesco to announce more sales woes

Tesco's travails look set to continue, as City analysts say it is preparing to more...

Wine from Napoleon’s carriage to be sold

A bottle of wine apparently found in Napoleon’s carriage after Waterloo – more...

Bilingual 'tool' demystifies wine tasting

The Australian Grape and Wine Authority has developed a new "tool" which more...

Rise for Haut Bailly in Liv-ex 2015 classification

Liv-ex’s bi-annual “re-classification” of Bordeaux saw Haut Bailly leap more...

Head of On-Trade Sales

London, United Kingdom

Castel feeds aperitif thirst

Europe’s largest wine producer, Castel, has unveiled a raft of new products more...

Men down $1k of ‘aphrodisiac’ wine at airport

Two Chinese air passengers downed an entire bottle of aphrodisiac wine after more...