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Champagne Jayne victorious against Champagne authority

Published:  26 May, 2017

Wine writer and educator Jayne Powell has won a protracted five-year legal battle to use the moniker “Champagne Jayne” as her official trademark.

The divisive legal dispute between Powell and the Comité Champagne came to a head last month when Australia’s national trademark registration authority approved the use of Champagne Jayne as Powell’s personal trademark.

The decision follows a lengthy battle in the Australian courts as the Comité attempted to block Powell’s use of the trademark on the grounds that she does not represent the official trade association or the region’s producers.

In October 2015, Powell won approval from the Australian Federal Court, but was pursued to the trademark authority, IP Australia, by the Comité Champagne (formerly the CIVC).

Having been given official permission by the IP Australia on April 3, the appeal period has since expired, meaning that Powell is now free to use the trademark as part of her personal brand.

The contentious issue has spawned widespread debate after the Comité began legal proceedings to stop Powell from using the name.

Some have criticised the Comité’s actions for being heavy-handed, particularly in response to the difference in size, influence and resources between the two opponents.

Powell herself has referred to the saga as a “David and Goliath” style battle and said IP Australia’s decision was a “victory for the little guy”.

“This is a significant legal win which restores my professional reputation and means I am finally free to continue my life’s work of educating and entertaining people about the world’s most enigmatic fine wines - champagne and other world class sparkling wines - using my life long nickname and registered trade mark, Champagne Jayne,” she said.

The Comité Champagne has been approached for comment.