The ‘Grande Médaille d’Or’ (Gold Medal) of the Society of Champagne Winegrowers (‘Corporation des Vignerons de Champagne’) was awarded to German lawyer, Michael Nieder last Monday in Munich by CIVC director general Jean-Luc Barbier.
Dr Nieder is a co-founder and partner of the Munich law practice Klaka & Associates. He specializes in patents, trademarks and competition law, with particular expertise in food and pharmaceutical products. He is the Comité Champagne’s legal representative in Germany.
This is the second time that the Gold Medal has been awarded to a German citizen in recognition of their service to the Champagne community. Dr Nieder’s award reflects his many decades of work for the protection of the Champagne appellation, commencing in 1981 with an action against Perrier for their slogan ‘The champagne of mineral waters’. That slogan was withdrawn following a Supreme Court decision in 1988 – the very first ruling by a German Supreme Court in favour of the protection of an AOC (appellation d’origine contrôlée).
Since then Dr Nieder has handled more than 400 actions: against Yves Saint-Laurent’s ‘champagne’ perfume, for instance; also against a so-called ‘champagne toothpaste’, against a foot cream incorporating an extract of Champagne, and many more. Most cases were settled out of court.
Munich / Stuttgart, 17 July 2013