Critic Slammed With Trademark Dispute by Comité Champagne

France’s Champagne trade body, the Comité Champagne, and critic “Champagne Jayne” have fallen into a trademark dispute that is now set to go to court after an attempt to reach a settlement has failed, according to Decanter. The Comité Champagne, which first filed a complaint against Jayne Powell in 2013, are maintaining that Powell is misleading consumers with her pen name because she reviews sparkling wines produced outside the Champagne designation, as well as non-sparkling wines, in addition to Champagnes.

Powell, who has registered her “Champagne Jayne” name in Australia, describes herself as a wine critic and “speaker, special events producer, and business strategist” to the hospitality world at large. She has been banned from speaking to the media about the dispute and her supporters have begun raising money to help pay for legal expenses, which they claim are causing her to go bankrupt.

On the Go Fund Me page that has been set up on Powell’s behalf, her supporters decry the Comité’s “disgraceful bullying,” saying, “Champagne Jayne is an independent, creative professional being driven out of business by a powerful, global organisation, which has an abundance of funding and an expensive team of lawyers.”

Last December, after the two parties spend days in court arguing, the case went to mediation. As there was no success with mediation at the Melbourne Federal Court this week, it’s back to the court room. An exact date for the hearing has not yet been set. [Decanter][Photo: Flickr/L.C. Notaasen]