Lafitte vs Lafite battle moves to China
17th February, 2014 by Lauren Eads
A long-running battle between renowned producer Château Lafite Rothschild and Côtes de Bordeaux producer Chateau Lafitte over the trademarking of the Lafitte name has spread to China.
Château Lafitte in Bordeaux
Philippe Mengin, owner of Château Lafitte
Château Lafitte has been producing wine under its Lafitte name since 1763, but have been locked in a legal battle with Château Lafite Rothschild over the use of the Lafitte name for the last 10 years.
In 2003 Château Lafite Rothschild took the smaller producer to court arguing in the French courts that they should not be allowed to use the name Lafitte.
However in 2008 France’s highest appeals courts ruled in Château Lafitte’s favour confirming their right to use the Lafitte name while depriving Château Lafite Rothschild of the right to use the name in isolation.
In a continuing battle, Château Lafite Rothschild is now contesting an attempt by Château Lafitte to Trademark the Lafitte name in China.
Philippe Mengin, owner of Château Lafitte, said: “We are well aware that we have neither the networks nor the financial situation of our long-standing accuser, but we hope that by publicising the case as much as possible, they will at last agree to abide by common sense and submit to the court rulings that have once and for all recognised that our rights to Château Lafitte are older and superior to those of Château Lafite Rothschild.
“Just because we are less economically powerful does not mean that our rights should not be recognised.”
A spokesperson for Domaines Barons de Rothschild, owner of Lafite, said in a statement: “As one of the most recognised brand names in China, this is part of an ongoing battle to control the unauthorised use of our name in various global markets.”
The name Lafite comes from an old French term “la fite” – meaning “small hill”.
A similar battle is currently on-going between the luxury champagne house Krug and an Austrian wine producer, also named Krug.