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Court Upholds Order To Halt YSL Champagne Perfume Sales

December 15, 1993

Undated (AP) _ PARIS (AP) - Siding with France’s champagne producers, an appeals court on Wednesday upheld an order that prevents Yves Saint Laurent from selling his new perfume under the name Champagne here.

Saint Laurent said in a statement that the fragrance will continue to be marketed in France, just without a name. Elsewhere, it will be sold as Champagne.

Pulling the scent off store shelves at the height of the holiday shopping season would have been a serious blow to the designer, who has spent about 100 million francs, or $17.8 million to launch the perfume.

Moet-et-Chandon and other producers in the Champagne region of eastern France claimed that a perfume of the same name undermined the bubbly’s image.

The court, basing its decision on a 1990 law that forbids using the Champagne label on other products, rejected the argument by lawyers for Saint Laurent that the haute couturier’s product would complement the drink’s reputation.

It ordered fines of 3,000 francs, or $520 per infraction, and annulled the trademark Saint Laurent filed in 1992.

On Oct. 28, a lower court ruled that the designer’s use of the name could ″weaken the notoriety″ of the Champagne-producing region.

The court had ordered confiscation and destruction of all packaging and publicity materials related to the perfume, which comes in a bottle resembling a miniature magnum of Champagne.

Saint Laurent was also ordered to pay about $8,600 to Champagne producers.

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