Michel Chapoutier of Maison Chapoutier has vowed to fight Chinese forgers who have launched a brand of clothing using his name.
‘M Chapoutier’ top: ‘catastrophic’
Maison Chapoutier, one of the most significant wine brands in China, is distributed by Torres China.
It has fallen victim to wine counterfeiters before, but this is the first time a clothing brand has used its name.
The clothes, advertised under the ‘M Chapoutier’ brand, were first spotted by Mathilde Chapoutier, Michel’s daughter, who is spending three years studying Mandarin at a university in Beijing.
Chapoutier has now hired lawyers to find out who is behind the forgery, and what steps can be taken to prevent it. The Maison Chapoutier brand has been registered as a trademark in China for the past 10 years, but the situation is complicated by this forgery being in a different area to wine.
‘The way they have written M. Chapoutier on the clothes is very close to the way we have it written on our wine labels,’ Chaptoutier told Decanter.com.
‘It seems beyond doubt that they are trying to capitalise on our international renown. We have to react quickly to establish our rights as an international brand across all areas.
‘The thought of low quality ‘Made in China’ clothes using my name is a catastrophe. My lawyers are currently preparing our response.’
China now accounts for 30% of Maison Chapoutier’s overall sales, although Chapoutier said that he intends to limit the country’s allocation to no more than 35% of his entire production to ensure his traditional markets do not suffer.
Written by Jane Anson in Bordeaux