Supreme court suspends Castel trademark fine


China's supreme court has suspended a CNY34m (US$5.6m) fine levied on French wine group Castel over a trademark dispute with a local producer in the country.

Castel said this week that it has succeeded in blocking the fine, after it appealed to the supreme court towards the end of last year.

The ruling, although only temporary, marks a potentially important victory for Castel in its long-running battle with Shanghai-based distributor Panati Wine over the Ka-Si-Te trademark name in China.

The supreme court's decision overturns an earlier ruling in the Zhejiang Provincial Superior People’s Court, which last year ordered Castel to pay CNY34m (US$5.6m) in damages to Panati Wine for infringement of the Ka-Si-Te trademark.

There will now be a retrial, said Castel. It believes that its chances of eventual success have increased following the supreme court decision, which found that the lower court wrongly applied commercial law.

‘Castel Freres is prepared to take any measures required to protect its legitimate interests in China,’ the group said late last year.

In March 2013, Castel announced it had registered the name Kasidaile as a trademark in China.

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