Australia’s Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) has filed a trademark lawsuit against Rush Rich Pty Ltd, claiming that it is selling copycat Penfolds wines that is made and labeled in Australia into Chinese markets.
It was last year at China’s Chengdu wine fair that The Drinks Business reported on a wine seen at the event called “Rush Rich,” which was labeled as a “product of Australia.” Penfolds’ Chinese name — 奔富 (“BEN FU”) — translates into English as “Rush Rich.”
According to Penfolds, the copycat wine is “being sourced and bottled through bulk wine suppliers and third party bottlers in South Australia” before being exported to China, reports Business Insider.
Citing the infringers’ “predatory behavior,” TWE’s CEO Michael Clarke said: “The infringing products and misleading claims these operators are making, and the association they falsely claim to have with our brands are unconscionable.” Clarke told The Australian Financial Review that while counterfeiting affects the wine industry in general, in his country it “will actually start weakening Brand Australia.”
Just a year ago, the Beijing High People’s Court granted Penfolds sole rights to use and market the BEN FU trademark in China. Following that, in November 2017, police in Shanghai seized 14,000 bottles of fake Penfolds wine that was being sold through Alibaba’s online market Taobao, and in bars and pubs.