A digital drink

21 February 2023

If someone started talking about a ‘digital drink’, you would probably think back to the Corona period when it was impossible to socialise in person. Thankfully, those days are over!


Instead, this title refers to a trademark application by Petrus, a famous and extremely expensive French red wine from Pomerol in the Bordeaux region, for which some people are willing to pay thousands of euros a bottle. This case does not involve a trademark application for the actual wine, as that has already been registered, but last year, like many other trademark owners, Petrus filed an application for a trademark for digital goods; digital wine in other words. They probably reasoned that a product so scarce and in demand in the real world will be equally sought after in the metaverse or any other digital world, so the brand name, logo and actual bottle were filed in the European Union as trademarks for digital products, NFTs and related services.

All of these trademarks have been well-known and established for specific products for years, but now they are moving into a different product class, one which contains different trademark holders and brands ─ as well as some very different problems. All of the applications were met by an opposition from Petrus Advisers, which has registered its trademark for financial services, but the opposition extends only to services in class 36: trading NFTs.

Such oppositions are often settled by adjusting the description of a product or service or drawing up an underlying agreement which makes it possible to reach a settlement allowing both trademarks to peacefully coexist. In this case, however, Petrus has entered the fray and requested that the other party provide evidence of use. To be continued!

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