Champagne Bruno Paillard is threatening to take legal action against rival Bollinger amid claims that its new bottle shape is a 'servile copy' of Paillard's own packaging.
Owner Bruno Paillard said he was ‘deeply shocked’ to find that Bollinger’s redesigned ‘1846’ bottle, launched earlier this year, was a ‘copy’ of the Bruno Paillard bottle designed in 1984.
Paillard, also CEO of major Champagne producer Lanson-BCC, said he would take expert advice on the issue, adding: ‘If it turns out they are the exact same model, we will have to start a judicial process, our bottle being registered in many countries.
‘I designed this bottle almost 30 years ago, not only to distinguish our house, but also to increase the exchange surface between the wine and the lees, increasing this way the complexity of our wines.’
Asked if he was flattered by the alleged copy, Paillard said: ‘Maybe, but in such a case one can also consider it a servile copy – which does not make me feel flattered, but attacked to tell the truth.’
A spokesman for Bollinger said: ‘We do not wish to comment directly on claims made last week regarding the redesigned shape of our bottle.
‘However, as explained at the initial launch in May, we would like to underline the fact that this redesign drew inspiration from the collection of bottles in our cellars which date back to the mid-19th century.’
At the time of the launch, Bollinger said the new bottle had been inspired by a bottle found in the company’s cellars and dating back to 1846.
Describing its shape as ‘unique in Champagne’, the company likened it to a ‘small magnum’ and said it would slow down the oxygen exchange, improving wine quality.
The new design is already being used for Bollinger’s core Special Cuvée non-vintage, and is due to be used for all the company’s other Champagnes in future, in sizes from half-bottle to jeroboam.
Written by Richard Woodard