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Champagne Jayne wins legal battle against CIVC

The wine writer and educator Jayne Powell, known as Champagne Jayne, has won the right to keep her brand name following a court battle with the Comité Champagne (CIVC).

Jayne Powell (left), pictured in an appearance on This Morning with Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield (Photo: ITV)
Jayne Powell (left), pictured in an appearance on This Morning with Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield (Photo: ITV)

The CIVC originally took Powell to court in December 2014, claiming that she had misled the public and infringed on its trademark by promoting sparkling wines other than Champagne while using the Champagne Jayne name. This, it claimed, had “damaged the goodwill of the Champagne sector”.

The CIVC also argued that Powell’s use of the Champagne name contravened the Australian Grape and Wine Authority Act.

Mounting a legal challenge at Melbourne Federal Court, the CIVC demanded that Powell desist in using the Champagne Jayne name as her company name, in her website URL, Facebook and Twitter accounts, as well as dropping her bid to trademark the name for herself.

The drinks business reported in February how supporters of Powell had launched a fundraising campaign to help the wine communicator during her legal battle.

Launched via GoFundMe.com, the ‘Jayne vs Goliath’ campaign was set up to support Powell’s escalating legal fees.

Diane Lofts, secretary at Wine Guild Victoria, explained at the time that Powell was “fighting to protect herself from bankruptcy and defend both her integrity and business from the bullying behaviour of the CIVC”.

Powell was unable to rally support herself due to a gagging order imposed by Melbourne Federal Court.

The presiding judge in the case, Justice Jonathan Beach, ruled that the CIVC had not done enough to compel him to order Powell to cancel her business name or withdraw her trademark.

Justice Beach, did, however, accept that Powell had engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct in her use, reference to and promotion of sparkling wines while also using the Champagne name in relation to some of her social media posts, the Australian Associated Press reported.

The two parties will now be allowed to present arguments over the appropriate remedy for Champagne Jayne’s social media use.

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.

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