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Champagne Bruno Paillard backs off legal action in Bollinger bottle dispute

Champagne Bruno Paillard has decided not to take legal action against rival Bollinger over a claim that it 'stole' Paillard's bottle design.

Expert tests commissioned by owner Bruno Paillard show that there is a slight difference in the neck shape of the two bottles, he said.

Bollinger, which launched its new bottle in 2012, has strongly denied Paillard’s accusation that it stole his family firm’s own design, which was first released in 1984.

‘Consumers might not see the difference, but legally there is a difference,’ Bruno Paillard told journalists in London this week, where he was visiting for the launch of his company’s 2004 vintage Assemblage and Blanc de Blancs Champagnes.

After seeking legal advice, he has decided not to proceed with court action. ‘It could have been ten years of wasted time,’ he said.

However, Paillard, who is also chief executive of Champagne house Lanson-BCC, added that he has told Bollinger of his continuing dismay. ‘I said that it’s not very elegant for a house of that stature.’

When the accusations first arose last year, Bollinger insisted that its bottle redesign ‘drew inspiration from the collection of bottles in our cellars which date back to the mid-19th century’.

Written by Chris Mercer

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