18.03 – Wine and Spirit – JAP



The wine and spirits sector is characterized by its technicality and complexity linked to the proliferation of regulations in force.

The assistance of a lawyer who has a good command of this sector is therefore a valuable asset for economic operators.

As such, our Firm benefits from recognized expertise in wine and spirits law. We believe that we have gained a unique understanding of the business concerns of this industry by representing a wide spectrum of clients involved in wine production and distribution. Our clients can be winegrowers (individuals, SMEs or multinational companies), sites specializing in the online sale of wine, importers, distributors or organizations and groups of producers in charge of the defense of geographical indication.

Our long experience in intellectual property means that we are particularly able to advise our clients on the filing of wine brands, which are subject to specific and binding regulations at both French and European level.

The marked international character of our team of lawyers (with a partner admitted to the California Bar, another of South Korean nationality admitted to the Paris Bar, an of-counsel lawyer of Japanese nationality admitted to the Tokyo and Paris Bars, and an of-counsel lawyer of Chinese nationality admitted to the Paris Bar) allows us both to provide useful advice to our French winegrower clients who wish to export and distribute their wines or spirits abroad, as well as to assist foreign operators who would like to acquire wine properties in France or import their wine production there.

Our proven litigation practice serves our clients who need either to take legal action against third parties infringing their wine brands, their spirits brands or their geographical indications, or to defend themselves against allegations of non-compliance of French and EU alcoholic regulations or breach of contractual agreements.

Finally, the fact that we have been members for more than 10 years of the International Wine Law Association (IWLA), which is the most important international professional association dealing with legal questions concerning the production and commercialization of wine, has enabled us to set up, in several regions of the world, a network of fellow specialized lawyers with whom we can collaborate, on behalf of our clients, on complex legal issues such as the protection of wine brands outside of the European Union, or the negotiation of contracts for the international sale of wine or spirits with American, English or Chinese importers, for example.

Our legal services offer

We offer the following legal services to our clients in matters of wine and spirits law.

Protection of trademarks and geographical indications

  • Filing and prosecution of wine trademark applications before the French Trademark Office, the EUIPO and/or WIPO;
  • Filing and prosecution of spirits trademark applications before the French Trademark Office, the EUIPO and/or WIPO;
  • Management of trademark portfolios;
  • Advice on trademark protection strategy;
  • Formulating both domestic and international strategies for the protection of geographical indications for wine and spirits in the EU and outside of the EU.

Wine properties

With the help of our network of specialized notaries and taw lawyers, we represent clients in connection with the acquisition and disposition of French wineries, land use and tax matters.

Production, marketing and compliance

  • Advice to winegrowers to ensure compliance with the standards applicable to wine production (compliance with the specifications of the PDO or PGI, authorized and prohibited oenological practices, etc.);
  • Negotiation and drafting of commercial agent, distribution and sales contracts in the wine and spirits sector, both in France and abroad; negotiation and drafting of contracts for the purchase of grapes, purchase of musts; advice on payment deadlines, etc.;
  • Advice on securing the labeling and packaging of bottles of wine or spirits, as well as communication and promotional campaigns for our clients, particularly with regard to the so-called French Evin law, which very strictly regulates advertising for alcoholic beverages ;
  • With the help of specialized colleagues, support for professionals wishing to import wine from a third country to the European Union with regard to the applicable European regulations;
  • Advice to operators of websites who sell alcoholic beverages online.

Defense and litigation

  • Legal defense of winegrowers in the event of infringement of their wine brands and/or their spirits brands (infringement action, unfair competition action, etc.);
  • Legal defense of producer groups in the event of infringement of their geographical indications (infringement action, unfair competition action, etc.);
  • Fight against infringements of the IP rights of our clients committed on the Internet and on the social networks;
  • Customs monitoring of products likely to infringe the IP rights of our clients;
  • Legal representation and defense of our clients against the Administration in the event of an alleged violation of the regulations applicable to wine and spirits: deception, usurpation of designation of origin, illicit use of regulated terms, etc.