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Spanish fizzy pop trumps French Champagne in court

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Image: AFP / Champín.
10:28 CET+01:00
Spain's supreme court has thrown out a claim by the Champagne industry that a Spanish soft drink is too similar to the famous French bubbly.

A Spanish soft drink marketed at children poses no threat to Champagne, Spain's Supreme Court ruled on Monday.

The Champagne industry is fiercely protective over its name and appellation - meaning only products made within the geographical region of Champagne can be classed as Champagne.

Anything claiming to be Champagne that was made outside the region, or claiming to include Champagne when it does not, is liable to be banned from sale.

But the champagne industry has lost a battle to ban the Spanish children's drink - Champín, sold for under three euros in all major supermarkets. 

"We feel like David against Goliath and we are very proud and happy at the Supreme Court result, that finally puts an end to the law suit with Champagne," a Champín spokesman told The Local.

Spain's Supreme Court ruled that the name of the fizzy drink, a fruits of the forest and strawberry-flavoured drink for children, did not make consumers think that the product was made from Champagne – or had anything to do with the luxury beverage.

It ruled that Champín did not infringe Champagne's appellation and that the children's drink - made by Industrias Espadafor, was "unconnected" to Champagne. 

Any apparent similarites, the court ruled, were "faint and irrelevant". 

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"In this case the product Champín differs enough with respect to those products protected by the Champagne appellation, that the phonetic similarity does not evoke the product," the ruling stated.

The ruling comes as a blow to the Comité Interprofessionnel Du Vin de Champagne, which was calling for the banning of the Champín brand as well as all bottles already on the market to be withdrawn. 

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