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The kiwi, it is French, you see...
December 6, 2005 9:15 PM   Subscribe

Kiwi Actually French: Film At 11. The French wine industry is notably protective of domestic producers' rights to use terms like Champagne and Burgundy, both geographic indications of areas of France. The Institut National des Appellation d’Origine even protested against the US registration of the trademark Goats do Roam (sounding similar to Côtes du Rhône). Now one winemaker, Lacheteau, which sells French wine under the brand Kiwi Cuvee, has successfully scared off a New Zealand winery from using the "Kiwi" appelation in the EU.
posted by afiler (24 comments total)

 
Did you know the "French" winemakers making Kiwi Cuvee are New Zealanders who have moved to the Loire Valley in France?
posted by ?! at 9:34 PM on December 6, 2005


"Qu'est-ce que c'est?"
"C'est Kiwi Cuvée."
"C'est quoi?"
"Kiwi. Kiwi Cuvée."
"Qui ... oui?"
"Non, pas qui, quoi."
"Quoi?"
(exasperé) "Kiwi, Kiwi Cuvée..."

posted by rob511 at 9:35 PM on December 6, 2005


Fine fine - take the name.. just put the bomb down....
posted by pompomtom at 9:38 PM on December 6, 2005


That's the way trademarks work in many places. The first to register, despite longstanding use by another, gets the rights. Sell a product in Europe? Then got on with your trademark registration. This has nothing to do with France's legendary protection of appellations, but everything to do with one trademark holder trumping another by registering first. By the way, the "Kiwi" name was not used as an appellation.
posted by caddis at 10:07 PM on December 6, 2005


These are not actually the same thing. The EU offers some protection, mainly at the member state level, for what are termed "geographical indicators" (e.g. Burgundy, Champagne). The EU negotiated a painstaking agreement with the US that will grandfather most existing US products for a vague amount of time while restricting new ones from using these terms. But "Kiwi" is not a geographical indicator, but a trademark. I'm surprised that it wouldn't be possible to challenge that usage under European trademark law since Kiwi is arguably by itself a generic term.

In the US, Kiwi is mainly known for the brand of shoe polish. Might not be the best selling point for a fermented beverage.
posted by dhartung at 10:13 PM on December 6, 2005


Nike had a similar problem in Spain and it became a major headache for them during the 1992 Olympics.
posted by caddis at 10:14 PM on December 6, 2005


merci, rob511
posted by Cranberry at 10:19 PM on December 6, 2005


?! Where did you get that information from? On 25th November 2005 Harpers reported:
Les Grands Chais de France buys LaCheteau
Les Grands Chais de France has further strengthened its presence in the Loire with the purchase of the LaCheteau vineyards and négociant business in Anjou for an undisclosed sum.

négociant?
These trademark battles are always ugly. Someone always gets hurt. It'll end in tears, mark my words.
posted by tellurian at 10:28 PM on December 6, 2005


dhartung: Kiwi shoe polish is available worldwide. The trademark "Kiwi" is a registered trademark of Sara Lee.
posted by tellurian at 10:39 PM on December 6, 2005


Is that the Sara Lee of cake fame?
posted by smackfu at 10:44 PM on December 6, 2005


f*cking french.
posted by Samuel Farrow at 11:20 PM on December 6, 2005


Nice shoes, Sara...
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 11:21 PM on December 6, 2005


The first to register, despite longstanding use by another, gets the rights.

F*cking Americans are trying to scare off Aussies from selling ug (ugg, ugh) boots!!!

Crikey! It's more than a trademark, it's part of the vernacular.

Freedom boots, anyone?!
posted by uncanny hengeman at 12:22 AM on December 7, 2005


Aaaargghh boots.

It's too fucking hot to think about uuuuugggghhh boots.
posted by strawberryviagra at 2:05 AM on December 7, 2005


Where can I get a bottle of Goats Do Roam?
posted by bashos_frog at 4:38 AM on December 7, 2005


Qui de quoi keskidit kiwi?

Wouldn0t drunk Goats do roam, ever. Sounds brazilian.
posted by Sijeka at 5:14 AM on December 7, 2005


tellurian: Here are a couple of online links mentioning Rhyan Wardman (New Zelander) creating Kiwi Cuvee at LaCheteau. (1) (2) (I can't put my finger on an article about Wardman.)

Sammuel Farrow: You mean f*uking New Zelanders who work with the French and the French Winery they rode in on?
posted by ?! at 6:47 AM on December 7, 2005


Even if they had Sir Edmund Hilary making wine for them, calling it "Kiwi" and being able to prevent real Kiwi wine makers from using the brand in Europe sucks - and rightly or wrongly, as a New Zealander I condsider it my god given right to blame the french.

And not just for this, the combination of the Rainbow Warrior bombing and the 1999 Rugby World Cup Semi Final has had, IMHO, long term ramification for our island paradise....
posted by Samuel Farrow at 9:27 AM on December 7, 2005


Goats Du Roam is a very drinkable, inexpensive South African wine, btw. They have a fairly new take off on it called Goats Du Roam in Villages. The new name is related to an effort that the owners have undertaken to send some of their goats to Namibia to provide milk for AIDS Orphanages. You can read more about it here.

Anyway, a very nice wine that can often be found for $10 or $12. Good stuff.
posted by afflatus at 10:31 AM on December 7, 2005


Samuel Farrow: calling it "Kiwi" and being able to prevent real Kiwi wine makers from using the brand in Europe sucks

Seriously, though, it's just a brand-name. Why conflate a brand-name and some company's attempt to market a product with 'national identity' (whatever that is, in this day and age)? And anyway, isn't it kind of crass to use the word 'Kiwi' to try and sell wine, in France, of all places? Surely the wine should stand on its own -- putting 'kiwi' on the label implies, what, that it contains actual kiwis?

Anyway, this kind of thing is to be expected of the EU. It's just a bureaucratic organization set up for the benefit of interest and lobby groups within its member countries. Didn't Portugal successfully lobby the EU a few years ago to officially designate carrots as 'fruit', so they could continue to sell 'fruit' jam that was mainly carrot pulp?
posted by Sonny Jim at 1:00 PM on December 7, 2005


Didn't Portugal successfully lobby the EU a few years ago to officially designate carrots as 'fruit', so they could continue to sell 'fruit' jam that was mainly carrot pulp?

Nope

Another Euromyth debunked, courtesy of a critical mind (and Google). It would be helpful if those who are always ready to criticise that "bureaucratic organisation" checked their facts first...
posted by Skeptic at 1:31 PM on December 7, 2005


OK. *slinks away*

On the other hand, this page -- myths about the EU, busted by the EU itself! -- is highly entertaining.
posted by Sonny Jim at 2:31 PM on December 7, 2005


Sonny Jim says Why conflate a brand-name?

Sorry to do this but "Kiwi" is not just a brand name, it is like the star spangled banner, only without the marginalisation of everything that happened in a "country" before colonisation.

New Zealand native plants and animals are unique in this world, and I suppose holding "Kiwi" up as a national symbol, is an acceptance of past mistakes (or else we would be arguing about the Moa Merlot).

To dismis "kiwi" as a "brand-name" is to ignore what make NZ Aotearoa.
posted by Samuel Farrow at 2:43 AM on December 8, 2005


Nice points, SF. Although your last sentence is making my head hurt, though that's probably because I've spent too long working in the public sector. NZ isn't Aotearoa! Or is it? Discuss.

[/Treaty training].
posted by Sonny Jim at 12:51 AM on December 9, 2005


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