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Champagne Krug takes on Austrian producer over Krug name

Krug, the luxury Champagne house, has expressed concerns that an Austrian wine producer of same name could be infringing its trademark rights.

Champagne Krug (pictured, left) has so far stopped short of filing legal action, but said that it has repeatedly expressed concern to Krug Gumpoldskirchen, based near to Vienna in Austria.

The Austrian producer predominantly produces still wines under its own Krug family name. It has 16ha of vines.

LVMH-owned Krug said that it first contacted Austrian Krug in 2007 ‘to find an agreement to avoid any risk of association or confusion between what each had to offer’.

No agreement was reached, and in 2013 the Champagne house said it again made contact after discovering the Austrian firm has started making sparkling wine under the Krug name.

‘The House of Krug owns trademark rights in Austria dating back to 1960 and is actively enforcing its trademark rights worldwide against any kind of infringement,’ the Champagne producer said.

Of the talks, it said, ‘both [companies] continue to sustain an amicable conversation in order to reach a satisfactory solution’.

Austrian Krug could not be immediately reached for comment.

As a sector, Champagne producers are known for vigorously protecting their trademark rights. Last year, Champagne’s trade council, the CIVC, told decanter.com that its lawyers chase up to 1,000 potential infringement cases globally per year.

Written by Chris Mercer

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