Krug producers go head-to-head

Champagne Krug is negotiating with an Austrian producer also called Krug in a trademark tussle but both sides have different stories.

Krug Austria

Krug wines from Austria

The luxury Champagne house has said it is negotiating with the Austrian producer over sparkling wine in conjunction with the use of the Krug name, the Austrian appears to claim that he is simply being sued over his name.

Gustav Krug from the Thermenregion south of Vienna produces 250,000 bottles a year with a range that spans Grüner Veltliner, Zweigelt, Riesling and even Rotgipfler according to the Austrian Wine Marketing Board.

However, Champagne Krug has explained the two wineries had agreed to co-exist in name until Champagne Krug learned that its Austrian namesake was producing a sparkling wine.

Krug has not to date filed any lawsuits against Weingut Krug but, in a statement to the drinks business, said it was “enforcing its trademark rights” after “unconcluded negotiations.”

It explained: “In 2007, the House of Krug amicably approached Krug Gumpoldskirchen GmbH, in order to find an agreement to avoid any risk of association or confusion between what each had to offer.

“At that time, as it is still the case today, the House of Krug used the name Krug for its Champagnes, and Krug GmbH used the name Krug for its still wines.

“After unconcluded negotiations, the House of Krug contacted Krug Gumpoldskirchen GmbH again, during 2013, when the House of Krug discovered that it was now also producing a type of sparkling wine under the name Krug.

“The House of Krug owns trademark rights in Austria dating back to 1960 and is actively enforcing its trademark rights worldwide against any kind of infringement.

“To date, The House of Krug has not entered into a lawsuit against Krug Gumpoldskirchen GmbH and both continue to sustain an amicable conversation in order to reach a satisfactory solution.”

Various reports in the Austrian media meanwhile have been more belligerent and implied there had been the threat of a lawsuit.

Websites such as Format.at have made it appear that the tussle is a straight argument over the name in a “David and Goliath” struggle and have made no mention of sparkling wine being the root of the issue.

Many have pointed to the fact that there is apparently documentation from 1746, signed by the Empress Maria Theresa herself, referring to “Krug” wines from the town of Gumpoldskirchner where the family is still based and has run a “heuriger“, a tavern, since 1549.

This makes the producer nearly 100 years older than Champagne Krug which was founded in 1843 by Joseph Krug, a German immigrant born Johann Krug in Mainz in around 1800.

Format also adds that Krug claims he has been asked to change his domain name from krug.at.

“No one can make me change my name,” he said adding that he had registered it on Austria’s “first come, first served” name registration principle.

Another Champagne house, Veuve Clicquot, recently grabbed headlines with the news it was talking with a Prosecco producer about trademarks, this time over the colour of labels.

“Krug” in German merely means “pitcher”, a container for liquids with a spout and handle.

Gustav Krug was not immediately available for comment.

Leave a Reply

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

Please note that comments are subject to our posting guidelines in accordance with the Defamation Act 2013. Posts containing swear words, discrimination, offensive language and libellous or defamatory comments will not be approved.

Subscribe to our newsletters

Supply Chain Supervisor

Speciality Drinks
UK, UK

Sales Manager

Stilnovisti
London, UK

Regional Key Account Manager - On Trade

Lanson International UK
South of England, UK

Private Account Manager

Jeroboams Wine Merchants
London N1, UK

Sales Role

JF Tobias
London, UK

Events Assistant

Decanter
London, UK

Head of Marketing

Decanter
London, UK

Market Manager - Asia

Wines of South Africa
China,

Administrative Assistant – Private Clients

Howard Ripley Ltd
Barnes, London, UK

Sales Account Manager

Berkmann
Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Berkshire, UK

Prosecco Springs

London,United Kingdom
26th Apr 2018

Spirits & More

Rome,Italy
19th May 2018

db Awards 2018

London,UK
23rd May 2018
Click to view more

The Global Malbec Masters 2017

the drinks business is proud to announce the inaugural Global Malbec Masters 2017

The Global Sparkling Masters 2017

the drinks business is thrilled to announce the launch of The Global Sparkling Masters.

Click to view more