B Seppelt & Sons Ltd and Tucker Seabrook (Aust) Pty Ltd v Blaxland Vineyards Limited [2014] ATMO 88


Application for the wine label was accepted with the endorsement that it would only be used in respect of wines produced from grapes primarily from the Tanunda area. The application was opposed by B. Seppelt & Sons Ltd and Tucker Seabrook (Aust) Pty Ltd.

The opponent submitted that the CHATEAU TANUNDA brand of premium wine and brandy had acquired such a reputation in Australia that ‘[t]he word TANUNDA has therefore transcended the geographical connotation of being the name of the small township in the Barossa Valley in which the property known as ‘Chateau Tanunda’ is located’.

The Hearing Officer, having reviewed the evidence, agreed that ‘whatever the geographical significance of the word TANUNDA, the evidence shows that the use of that term as part of the trade mark CHATEAU TANUNDA has replaced that geographical significance in respect of the Goods’. Further, the Hearing Officer noted that there was no place ‘Tanunda Hill’ in the Tanunda region, the winery from which the applicant’s goods are produced (and grapes grown) lies outside of the Tanunda region. This led to the conclusion that a consumer is likely only to associate the trade mark with the opponent’s CHATEAU TANUNDA and section 43 was, therefore, made out.

The application is refused.

To view the Office decision, click here.

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