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The Black Rooster is the historical symbol (and collective brand) of Chianti Classico wine, and cannot be used by individuals for any other wine. And it also applies to brands that, beyond the color, can recall it. This is, in a nutshell, the sense of the sentence of the EU Court, published today, which gives reason to the Chianti Classico Consortium, confirming the pronouncement of the EUipo which had blocked the attempt to register the Ghisu trademark, depicting a rooster, by Berebene srl, based in Rome, in 2017, which Chianti Classico had opposed. Decision on which Berebene srl itself had appealed to the EU Court, which, however, rejected it. According to the EU Court, the use of the brand in question could create confusion, and provide an “undue advantage from the reputation, prestige and excellence projected” by the symbol historically associated with Tuscan wine.
“It is a sentence that confirms the correctness of the Consortium’s strategy on brand protection – Carlotta Gori, director of the Chianti Classico Consortium, comments to WineNews – which is the unique symbol of the denomination, which we have been protecting for years also through the control of the registration of similar brands, which can damage our brand and unduly benefit others. And this strategy is all the more rewarded when a European court questioned by a plaintiff, and not by us, testifies to the validity of our reasons. Over the past 15 years, our trademark has prevailed over confusing trademark registration attempts 61 times. The judgments of the European Court and Court of Justice over the years have always gone in this direction, indeed, the trademark offices are now “educated” and recognize our positions and our value “.
An ancient link, the one between the Black Rooster and the historical territory of Chianti (today Chianti Classico, ed): already at the end of 1300 a black rooster on a gold background was chosen as the emblem of the Lega del Chianti, a military political institution created by the republic of Florence for the control of the territory, and also reported by Vasari in the Allegory of Chianti, a panel of 1565 in the Salone de ‘Cinquecento of Palazzo Vecchio, in Florence. In 1924, then, the Black Rooster is the symbol chosen by the Consortium “for the defense of the typical Chianti wine and its brand of origin”, which has now become the Chianti Classico Wine Consortium. And since 2005 it has stood out on every bottle of the denomination. And, the EU Court has sanctioned, it is for the exclusive use of Chianti Classico producers.
“Hands off made in Italy. Today’s decision recognizes and protects our excellence and thwarts a dangerous attempt to appropriate our historical brands “, is the comment of the Undersecretary for Agricultural Policies, Gian Marco Centinaio. And even if the cause is entirely internal to two Italian subjects, it is important to underline that“In rejecting the request for registration of a similar trademark – continues Centinaio – the Court of the European Union rightly pointed out that the image of excellence and prestige associated with it would have generated an undue advantage in favor of the applicant company. An important precedent for the future protection of our products within the European borders. We are and will always be at the forefront in combating phenomena such as Italian sounding and commercial parasitism, which causes damage to our agri-food sector by billions of euros every year. An even more serious phenomenon now that the wine sector has also been heavily penalized by the effects of the pandemic ”, concludes Centinaio.
Coldiretti also joins the comments, raising the bar: “Stopping the fake Chianti is important in a situation in which on the global market the imitations of made in Italy agri-food products have exceeded the value of 100 billion in the year of Covid”. On the ruling, the organization adds, “yet another attempt to embezzle national historical brands whose prestige has been built by the work of entire generations is thwarted. The claim to use the same symbols for profoundly different products is unacceptable and represents a deception for consumers and unfair competition against entrepreneurs. Worldwide, it is estimated that more than two out of three made in Italy agri-food products are fake without any productive or employment link with our country. To fake Italian food – points out Coldiretti, while commenting on a dispute that, specifically, is all Italian – are above all the emerging countries or the richest ones from China to Australia, from South America to the United States but sensational examples are found in Europe where the sale of wine kits with a soluble powder preparation is widespread which, according to what is declared on the packaging, would allow to reproduce the most famous Italian wines, such as Brunello or Barolo. In addition to wine, among the most fake food products – Coldiretti claims – there are cheeses, cured meats and preserves. From the fight against imitations of fake Made in Italy at the table around the world, 300,000 jobs can be created in Italy ”.

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Marco Ribaudo

Marco Ribaudo

For the love of food and wine! Marco Ribaudo, Certified Sommelier, with 25 years in the food and beverage industry now invites you to join him in his latest adventure, the opening of la Cucina del Vino to share his culture and passion for creating unforgettable memories around the table.

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