Litigating in Europe

Trademark law aims to protect the commercial circuit by associating a sign with a line of products or services in a given territory.

It is a law harmonized by the law of the European Union.

The Union also has its own system of Community trade marks valid throughout the territory of the Union and managed by the trade mark office of the Union, the EUIPO ex-OHIM.

The protected designation of origin is a legal regime of Union law (equivalent to the French AOC) which aims to enhance and maintain the terroirs and the local know-how.

Union law (Articles 2, 3 and 4 of the TFEU) provides for exclusive competence of the Union in matters of trade policy, competition rules and customs union, and a competence shared with the Member States in the agriculture and consumer protection sectors.

Insofar as the matter refers to both market protection and product quality, Union law is therefore very present.

The “PDO protected designations of origin” are attributed under strict conditions and are effectively protected.

PDOs attest to the quality of a product because of its origin and the methods used. Their use is strictly regulated.

A distributor cannot dispense champagne without affixing the word « champagne » on the product.

With regard to « champagne », the Champagne Committee (CIVC), a French national institution, controls the affixing of marks and associated labelling on champagne products, through a separate system of registration of the mark.

The number thus assigned must appear on all documents concerning the product.

Example of a subject of conflict:

Traditional names assimilated to appellations of origin should not be confused with certain traditional, non-geographical terms relating to wines and spirits, such as « traditional method », « reserve », « closed », « village » or « castle ». These terms do not constitute appellations of origin, but are protected as a corollary of certain appellations to which they are reserved.

Translations: AOP-IGP – The regulations on AOP-IGP explicitly provide for the case of the translation of appellations.

Thus, articles 13, § 1, b), of Regulation (EU) No 1151/2012, and 103, § 2, b), of Regulation (EU) No 1308/2013, guarantee the protection of PDOs and IGP registered, « even if the protected name is translated » (see CJCE, 26 Feb. 2008, aff. C-132/05, pt 78, prev. n ° 120, protection of the PDO « Parmigiano Reggiano » in its translated from « parmesan »).

This protection is in accordance with Article 23 of the APDIC Agreement – the regulations refer to it moreover – which, within the framework of the additional protection reserved for wines and spirits, excludes the translation of the most important geographical indications. concerning to designate strictly similar products:

TRIPS, art. 23 :

‘each member will provide the legal means which allow interested parties to prevent the use of a geographical indication identifying wines for wines which do not originate from the place indicated by the geographical indication in question, or identifying spirits for spirits which do not originate in the place indicated by the geographical indication in question, even in cases where […] the geographical indication is used in translation. ‘

Main texts of the wine sector

European Union

Regulation (EC) No 110/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of January 15, 2008 concerning the definition, description, presentation, labelling and protection of geographical indications of spirit drinks and repealing the Council Regulation (EEC) No 1576/89 Council

Regulation (EC) 491/2009 of 25 May 2009 amending Regulation (EC) No 1234/2007 on the common organization of the markets in the agricultural sector and specific provisions relating to certain products in this sector (single CMO regulation)

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 314/2012 of 12 April 2012 amending Regulations (EC) No 555/2008 and (EC) No 436/2009 in as regards the documents accompanying the transport of wine products as well as the registers to be kept in the wine sector

Regulation (EU) No 1308/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013 on the common organization of the markets in agricultural products and repealing Council Regulations (EEC) No 922/72, (EEC) No 234/79, (EC) No 1037/2001 and (EC) No 1234/2007 of the Council

Delegated Regulation (EU) 2018 / 273 of the Commission of 11 December 2017 supplementing Regulation (EU) No 1308/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards the authorization scheme for vine plantations, the vineyard register, the accompanying documents and the certification, the register of entries and exits, mandatory declarations, notifications and publication of notified information, supplementing Regulation (EU) No 1306/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council with regard to the applicable controls and penalties , amending Commission Regulations (EC) No 555/2008, (EC) No 606/2009 and (EC) No 607/2009 and repealing Commission Regulation (EC) No 436/2009 and Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2015/560 Commission

Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/33 of 17 October 2018 supplementing the Regulation nt (EU) No 1308/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council with regard to applications for the protection of designations of origin, geographical indications and traditional terms in the wine sector, the opposition procedure, restrictions on ‘use, modifications to the specifications, cancellation of protection, labeling and presentation


Wine Code, article 152 and following in particular

Law of 6 May 1919 relating to the protection of appellations of origin

Law of 13 January 1938 supplementing the provisions of the decree of July 30, 1935 on controlled appellations of origin

Law of April 12, 1941 creating an interprofessional committee for Champagne wine

Decree n ° 78-71 of January 17, 1978 concerning the density of plantations, the modes of conduct and the methods of pruning of the vines intended for the production of wines with controlled label of origin “Champagne and“ Côteaux champenois ”

Decree n ° 2010-1441 of November 22, 2010 recontrolled label of origin “Champagne”

relating to theDecree n ° 2012-655 of 4 May 2012 relating to the labeling and traceability of wine products and certain oenological practices


Update Oct.2021
« Champanillo »

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Voir aussi :


L’étiquetage des produits alimentaires – La labellisation