back to article Furious Frenchies tell Apple to bubble off: Bling iPhone isn't 'champagne'

French booze watchdogs have warned Apple that its decision to flog a blinged-up "champagne gold" version of the iPhone could end in a nasty court battle. Most Apple watchers now agree that the fruity firm is about to offer fanbois the chance to buy a garish gold phone, but the trade body that represents champagne makers has …

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Sour grapes.

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Who? Apple or the CIVC?

For my part, given Apple's legendary lust for petty intellectual property, I 'd love to see the Frenchies sue their arses off. It would be poetic justice.

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Anonymous Coward

Ok, so they take Apple on, but do they have enough money to fight the legal fight?

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Meh

Next thing is the Green Party copyright the colour Green, MUFC will copyright Red, Blue will copyright Blue, Goldman Sachs Gold etc etc.

Also I remember a number of cars use the colour, Dylux paint, need I say more?

I could understand the surrender monkey anger if the iPhone was an alcoholic drink but it isn't.

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These are the guys that sit around drinking champagne all day so I'd guess so

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Happy

No more Krug/Bolly for you Mr Cook, be the laughing stock of the board with Cava/Prosecco

Simples.

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Anonymous Coward

Next thing is the Green Party copyright the colour Green, MUFC will copyright Red, Blue will copyright Blue, Goldman Sachs Gold etc etc.

You will already find that many (specific) colours are trademarks of various companies - e.g. think BP assert rights over the colour of green they use, EasyGroup definitely get litigious about people using orange (especially if they use the word "easy" as well)

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@LarsG

Well, no, that’s not the point, its use of the word ‘champagne’ which is essentially their brand.

The examples you give are incorrect, it would be like someone marketing their product as, “Manchester United Red”, “Goldman Sachs Gold” and “Green Party Green”

Their point is it’s almost the same as if they made a new type of wine and called it ‘Apple Mac Plonk’

Its the use of the name, not the colour.

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WTF?

Next thing is the Green Party copyright the colour Green, MUFC will copyright Red, Blue will copyright Blue, Goldman Sachs Gold etc etc.

Also I remember a number of cars use the colour, Dylux paint, need I say more?

I could understand the surrender monkey anger if the iPhone was an alcoholic drink but it isn't.

Here's some money, go buy a fucking clue you idiot.

If you read TFA, the problem isn't the COLOUR. It's the use of the word CHAMPAGNE, which in the context of describing a product, has protection under a shitload of international treaties and laws.

So it's got fuck all to do with being a surrender monkey, and everything to do with a multinational company thinking it can do whatever it wants. It didn't come out on top against Apple Records,Cisco or Proview and I don't think it will in this case, should it decide to press on with this 'champagne' business.

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I'm not sure about international agreements. The protected status works inside the EU, but as I understand it the US refused to recognise the protected status of the term, and so any old Californian fizzy white will say Champagne on the label. No Cava for Cook, even if the Frenchies all refused to sell him any of their stuff.

I don't know about the status of champagne in the rest of the world though. But I'd imagine champagne was a 'generic' term long before most countries had trademark systems up and running.

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Anonymous Coward

Ok, so they take Apple on, but do they have enough money to fight the legal fight?

What I want to know is what either party is going to drink after winning it :)

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Anonymous Coward

You will find though that both will trademark the specific PANTONE combination together with any logos that it may be applied to.

You certainly can use the colour without penalty, provided you do not combine it with the word "easy".

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Anonymous Coward

Ross think you need to learn a little about trademarks etc.

The cases you point to are because Apple Computers, tried to use a trademark belonging to someone in the same line of business.

They is absolutely no reason why I can't create Cisco Chip shops, Apple holidays or Proview sausages.

So get off your ill-informed arse and go learn something.

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Anonymous Coward

@I ain't Spartacus:

Unfortunately you are incorrect. CIVC has successfully protected the Champagne mark against non-wine product trademark applications all over the world. Victoria's Secret and Champagne & Roses are just two who lost their cases.

The Champagne DOP enjoys seniority across the planet.

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I'm not sure about international agreements. The protected status works inside the EU...

There's a list of treaties and international laws as long as my arm that the US doesn't believe it needs to abide by. That doesn't mean the treaties or laws aren't valid.

The WTO TRIPs agreement (articles 22 and 23 in particular) is one of the many frameworks that protects geographical status, so you're totally wrong to say that champagne or stilton chese is only protected inside the EU.

the US refused to recognise the protected status of the term, and so any old Californian fizzy white will say Champagne on the label

Wrong again. Some Californian wineries are using the 'champagne' description, but only when the label says 'Californian champagne'. The US now acknowledges the exclusivity of the word champagne, and has banned its use on new wines since March 2006 - have a read of 26 USC § 5388 if you don't believe me.

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Ross think you need to learn a little about trademarks etc.

Hey anonymous 'tard, why not use your real name?

Apple Records vs Apple Computers - both in the business of selling music. This dispute is famous - you might want to google it.

Cisco Systems vs Apple Computers - both selling a product called 'iphone'. Apple settled and both parties now use the 'iphone' name.

Proview Technology vs Apple Computers - Apple thought they had exclusive rights to the 'ipad' name in China, but they didn't. Apple had to pay up.

You appear to know fuck all about trademark law, or the story behind some of Apple's cases.

Your examples are bullshit and don't apply to the article. Yeah you could open a Cisco chip shop, but try making your own Cisco routers and let me know how you get on...

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Ross K,

Cheers for the correction. I know the US didn't recognise champagne back in the day, and didn't think that had changed. I guess the WTO have been beavering away on all this sort of stuff in the meantime.

I still notice Americans saying champagne when they mean sparkling wine, whereas people in Blighty are less likely to do the same, so the Frenchies may already have lost that cultural battle.

It'll probably turn out that Apple don't even have a plan to bring out a more blingy-goldy iPhone. And it's just more rumourgasm...

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"It didn't come out on top against Apple Records,Cisco or Proview and I don't think it will in this case, should it decide to press on with this 'champagne' business."

Well.... It depends what you mean by "come out on top". They had to pay a fuck load of cash, but they still sell music using the name Apple and they still sell a device called "iPhone" and they still sell a device named "iPad" in china.

I'm not defending them, but their attitude of "do what we want and pay the fines later" does seem to work.

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The rest of the world is a pretty big market for iPhones, but if they choose to sell it in the USA only, then it's probably ok. Like that fake Havana Club headacheinducer made somewhere from something and bottled and sold by Bacardi violating a trademark from Pernod-Ricard.

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Anonymous Coward

Well, actually, yes, there is. It's called "parasitism". You think it'd be just considered a coincidence that you used a very well known brand name to sell your crap? That nobody would notice?

A quickly researched definition is this:

Parasitism practice: use of the reputation of another without this necessarily seeking to create confusion.

Not to be confused with straight infringement, then, which is copying existing stuff (so, creating confusion).

The most famous of such things in France was the milka.fr affair a few years ago. Also a combination of a name and of a color, by the way, and the defendant lost.

I'm glad I could help your own ill-informed arse ;-)

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Anonymous Coward

Ross K (1 of 300,00 results on Google, so not exactly specific is it) learn to read....

"The cases you point to are because Apple Computers, tried to use a trademark belonging to someone in the same line of business."

So you are correcting me by stating that what I said was correct?

Interesting.

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Seriously? The margins on this fizzy wine probably exceed Apple's my several orders of magnitude, not to mention that some labels are part of world wide drink and luxury goods conglomerates with very deep pockets. Pity the footballer who names his daughter Champagne.

BTW There are better fizzy wines out there, from France (Cremants), New Zealand and the UK. They have all one prizes to prove it.

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It's a trade protected word...

"The name Champagne is legally protected by the Treaty of Madrid (1891), which reserved it for the sparkling wine produced in the eponymous region and adhering to the standards defined for it as an Appellation d'origine contrôlée; the protection was reaffirmed in the Treaty of Versailles after World War I. Similar legal protection has been adopted by over 70 countries. Most recently Canada, Australia, and Chile signed agreements with Europe that limit the use of the term "champagne" to only those products produced in the Champagne region. "

Apple cannot it, they should stick with Cider lol

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26 USC §5388

Ross, Title 26 is Internal Revenue code, so your reference piqued my curiosity. Interestingly, §5388 (c) (3) (C) (ii) lists exceptions to that newfangled “semi-generic” exclusivity, among which are [1] alcohol content by volume below 7% or above 24%; and [3] lack of a brand name. (Exception [2] excludes wine sold in the US.) Thus, returning to I ain’t Spartacus’ comment, any old Californian fizzy white with a generic white label with just the word “CHAMPAGNE” in big black Arial Bold could still be offered for sale here, despite the §5388 ban.

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genericization

I ain’t Spartacus, you’re right, we do use the word “champagne” as a synonym for “sparkling wine”, much as Britons use “biro” for “ball-point pen” (“biro” is almost unknown here). This genericization kills trademark protection, which I guess explains why the tax code here is now used to protect appellations that in everyday conversations are otherwise generic.

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Facepalm

If you read TFA, the problem isn't the COLOUR. It's the use of the word CHAMPAGNE, which in the context of describing a product, has protection under a shitload of international treaties and laws.....

err.. wrong!

they can protect the name when it comes to a sparkling wine based product, however champagne gold has been commonly used as a colour for years Ford, Citroen and GM have all sold cars with colours described as "champagne gold". I'm pretty sure several of the large paint manufacturers have also had "champagne gold" in thier product line

Certain colours are protected because they are defined as a "brand icon" IBM Blue, Cisco are registered pantone colours. Champangne hasn't been defined. "“Champagne doesn’t have one single colour,” Charles Goamaere, CIVC’s legal director told the L’Union l’Ardennais newspaper." it is however generally accepted to be a pale brownish gold colour and saying something is champagne gold colour is not the same as trying to sell fizzy plonk

Personally, I think if CIVC took on someone who can afford the kind of legal costs apple can, they have more chance of nailing fog to a dog turd than winning that fight.

OTH Apple might just say up yours and not sell the phone in Europe

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Pint

Have an up vote

Champagne: I hate the stuff.

Perhaps Apple can rename it "Colour Methode Champagnois", or "Beer Light".

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Pint

Really?

@Otto is a bear

Well, it's a matter of taste, isn't it? I drink a LOT of champagne and I would beg to differ.

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Headmaster

Don't subtitle a story in a language you don't speak, moron. It's "Nous crachons sur votre horrible telephone".

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Ummm

... votre telephone horrible, je pense.

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Trollface

Re: Ummm

That'd be "téléphone"

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Re: Ummm

Yes, if I had a Frenchy keyboard or could be arsed to find the accented e's via ALT+0xxx combo's.

Which I can't.

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Re: Ummm

Right-alt + a/e/i/o/u doesn't do the trick?

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Re: Ummm

Not in Ubuntu it seems.. æ e → ø u is what you get there :o/

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Trollface

Re: Ummm

Maybe you should try a windows pc... ;)

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Why the downvotes, I think Dragon Leaves is right

Generally, when an adjective is subjective, it precedes the noun it refers to. As an example "Un homme grand" means a large man, i.e. a tall man, whereas "Un grand homme" means a great man, a man of esteem/popularity/etc.

In this case, it's slightly open for debate which would be used, but I would say the frenchies would acknowledge their subjective bias and entitle it "horrible telephone".

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Re: Ummm

On my OpenSUSE laptop/netbook

[Alt Gr]+' e -> ê

; -> é

@ -> ě

# -> è

~ -> ĕ

[ -> ë

] -> ẽ

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Why the downvotes, I think Dragon Leaves is right

"un grand homme" can also mean a tall man in French. For instance see the title of that old Pierre Richard flick "Le grand blond avec une chaussure noire".

I asked my French SO and she went with "horrible téléphone".

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Headmaster

two reasons

downvoted because:

- Without wit, succinctly, clinically, I called the author a moron.

- I unconsciously reminded the hard hats that engrish.com also has its variants in other languages.

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Wouldn't cider gold be more appropriate?

'cos I've got a combine harvester and you've got an iPhone 3

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Alternative option

Isn't that colour also a little similar to urine, it could therefore be known as the Urinal Phone.

Une douche dorée pour Apple, viva l'ondinisme.

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Re: Alternative option

I was thinking they could call their colour Shampagne, but I'm not sure how that would play with potential French customers.

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Too right too!

I wouldn't want to de-value my product either by allowing some orchard company try to compare their product to the wonderful liquid refreshment that champagne is! 400 years on, champagne is still champagne ... try running a fruity batphone after 4 years (if the battery powers it up) and see how well it compares...

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Re: Too right too!

> ... try running a fruity batphone after 4 years (if the battery powers it up) and see how well it compares...

And the Champagne will just get better with age, developing a delightful character. Would boys of Cupertino argue that a 25year old Mac was better than a brand new one?

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Trollface

Re: Too right too!

Woz would.

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Re: a 25year old Mac was better than a brand new one?

Having used both, I'm hard pressed to find it a much worse experience.

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What about?

Champagne Rhubarb

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Re: What about?

They have permission to use the word Champagne

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Anonymous Coward

Natutrally

use of the word Champagne is protected under EU law ONLY for things related to Booze and the region from which it originates.

Method Champenoise can be used to describe other fizzy plonk that come from other places than Champagne which is made using the same methods as the real stuff.

However Les Frogs will ignore anything the EU says that might step on their toes. The Froggy Gov in Paris will not do anything to stop any protests either.

If Apple release an iPhone (and it is all speculation) with a champagne colour I full expect a convoy of Tractors to head for Paris and the Apple stores and sink them without trace. There is one thing that membership of the EU has taught me and that is 'Don't mess with French Farmers'. Anarchists have a lot to learn from that mob.

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Methode Champenoise

Actually, that changed in the mid-90s. You'll find now that they have to use Methode Traditionelle.

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