A MAJOR CHALLENGE
The brands are an integral part of Pernod Ricard’s capital and its value. Protecting them from the various attacks they might face and ensuring respect for their heritage, history and image is a fundamental concern.
This means fighting against counterfeiting, as well as packaging that imitates that of our products.
A major victory against counterfeiting in China
Relying on cooperation between the Group’s various functional departments, the Blue Lotus programme has led to a major victory against counterfeiting in China. In April 2011, the Chinese Supreme People’s Court handed down its verdict on the criminal counterfeiting case involving Chivas Regal and Royal Salute in Daxing. The defendant in this case was sentenced to four years in prison and ordered to pay a heavy fine for trademark infringement. This proceeding was considered a landmark case in 2011 in China, among decisions relating to intellectual property rights.
THE ROLE OF INNOVATION
Within the Group, the team dedicated to intellectual property protection is organised into six units, with each one managing several brand portfolios on a global scale. In the field of intellectual property protection, it is vital that action is taken early in order to be effective.
For this reason, all project teams working on innovations systematically include a lawyer who is tasked with analysing and flagging any elements that could be copied.
Protecting innovations in 3D
The growing number of innovations developed by the Group requires stronger legal protection. Registrations have been filed in three dimensions for the new, highly distinctive bottle designs for Ricard and ABSOLUT ELYX, something that had not been possible with more standard bottles. The faces, heights and profiles of the bottles are thus protected against counterfeiting attempts.
Protecting brands and intellectual property goes hand-in-hand in several ways. In particular, the Group works closely with local public authorities with regard to legal actions. The International Federation of Spirits Producers provides resources and support for such actions. This type of approach is consistent with the work of Pernod Ricard’s Public Affairs Department in developing countries of advocating a legal system that can effectively protect intellectual property.
Internally, the Group is investing in new authentication technologies, such as Seal Vector, an encoded square that cannot be detected by a photocopier. In China, Martell Cordon Bleu, Noblige and Chivas 12 Year Old bottles are now equipped with this marker. Based on its experience in Asia, Pernod Ricard is now working to transfer these good practices to other countries.