The High Court of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region ruled in favor of Moët Hennessy this week against Acker Merrall & Condit for trademark infringement and passing off. The judgment means auction house Acker Merrall & Condit has been ordered to readjust its authentication process and will is also now be prevented from dealing with any products that bear the Moët Hennessy and Krug name that are not produced by the company.
The court issued a final ruling that Acker Merrall & Condit acknowledged it infringed upon Moët Hennessy – the wine and spirits division of LVMH, the world’s leading luxury products group – by using Moët’s trademarks and passing off Krug champagne for a product that was not genuine.
Moët stated that Acker Merrall & Condit had agreed to conduct “reasonably appropriate authentication procedures” to ensure all products it puts up for auction that bear the Krug trademark and/or any of the other Moët Hennessy Champagne registered trademarks have been produced by and/or ultimately sourced from Moët Hennessy.
However, Acker Merrall and Condit subsequently issued its own statement, in which it said: “Contrary to the insinuation of [Moët Hennessy] … there was no trial and, as such, the court never ruled against Acker on any disputed issues of fact. Rather, after years of litigation the parties simply negotiated settlement terms which were embodied in a consent order prepared by both sides and upon which the court placed its seal.”
Moët Hennessy said it was working “in close collaboration with local and global law enforcement to defend and protect consumers” against fakes.