Champagne Jayne court case underway
A case between the CIVC and wine writer and educator Jayne Powell, known as “Champagne Jayne”, has begun in Melbourne Federal Court this week.
The Comité Interprofessional du Vin de Champagne (CIVC) is suing Powell for trademark infringement over the use of the word “Champagne” in her name.
It accuses Powell of misleading the public by promoting sparkling wines other than Champagne while using the “Champagne Jayne” name, which, its says, “damages the goodwill of the Champagne sector”.
Powell has been working under the name “Champagne Jayne” since 2003 running Champagne talks, tastings and masterclasses in Australia.
Her book Great, Grand and Famous Champagnes: Behind the Bubbles, won a Gourmand book award in 2011 and she was made a Dame Chevalier de L’Ordre des Coteaux de Champagne in 2012.
Powell trademarked the name “Champagne Jayne” in Australia in 2011. The CIVC filed its first complaint in December 2013.
Under the terms of the case, the CIVC has asked Powell to stop using her @ChampagneJayne Twitter account, which has 21,100 followers, and her Facebook account to promote sparkling alternatives to Champagne. It may also seek compensation for loss and damage to the Champagne brand.
“Although litigation is a challenging exercise both financially and emotionally, I am defending the claim and have every confidence that the decision that the court will ultimately make will be the right one,” Powell said.
“I think the members of the public would expect that the services would predominantly or generally pertain to Champagne but not to the exclusion of anything else,” Powell added in a defence document filed with the court.
A second court case will take place in February regarding the trademarking of the name “Champagne Jayne”.