Celebrating In Style

Musings on Lawsuits, Trademarks, Lawyering, Veuve Clicquot and Buying a Castle in Scotland

Sometimes it’s really awesome to be a lawyer. Like two days ago when I got notice that a federal court judge ruled in my client’s favor on a summary judgment motion effectively ending the case[1]. This has been a long, drawn out, emotional and bumpy ride, and my clients were finally vindicated.[2] It was great to deliver the news that the decision we’d hoped for[3] had finally arrived! Not only was this big for the clients, this was big for me. This case was a huge undertaking, the first case of this magnitude that I had ever done, and it was one that I could not have done without the expert assistance of my co-counsel who guided me through every step of the process. It was an amazing IMG_7705learning experience, from taking my first deposition[4] to arguing (multiple times) in federal court, to drafting and submitting literally thousands of pages of discovery and legal argument.

When I thought things couldn’t get better, I realized I was about to hit 5,000 followers on Instagram, a milestone I thought called for a celebration[5]! How fitting to celebrate with the delicious bubbly gifted to me by another client! #lawyerlife

To:                  Alleged Blog Readers
From:              WineEsquire
Date:               July 17, 2015
Wine:              Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Vintage Brut 2004 –
A Veuve Clicquot Review
IMG_7698Let me paint the scene for you. It’s Friday afternoon in mid-July; the weather is gorgeous, no sweltering heat or mugginess to be found. The breeze is blowing, the garden is blooming, and the sun is setting. Husband is home after a few days away, the week is over weekend is beginning, and we’re celebrating. The feast before us consists of truffle infused goat cheese, duck liver pâté, salty cow’s cheese, a crusty baguette and some Medjool dates[6]. We pop the bottle of 2004 Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin, pour it into our creepy awesome crow’s feet champagne flutes, and instantly know this is not your run-of-the-mill bubbly. The bubbles are super refined. The fizz is delicate. It is absolutely effervescent. I get notes of pear. Husband gets the smell of ionized water, like at the bottom of a waterfall. It’s an experience. One I’m not likely to soon forget. So get out there and work you’re a$$ off for a client and maybe they’ll buy one for you. If that doesn’t happen, then drop the 60 to 80 beans to buy a bottle and have an absolutely amazing evening!


Wine Dossier: A Brief History of Vueve Clicquot
I had always assumed Veuve Clicquot[7] had a long history of making delicious bubbly. I hadn’t realized, however, that its fascinating time line dates back from 1772 when Philippe Clicquot, who owned several vineyards, decided to start a wine business. By 1798 his son François had joined him in running the company. Upon François’ death in 1805, his widow[8], or veuve in French, Barbe-Nicole Ponsardin[9], took over operations, a groundbreaking move in a war-torn world run by men, especially since she was only 27. Madame Clicquot led the company to storied greatness, starting with the debut of theIMG_7704 first vintage champagne in 1810 and the creation of the riddling rack, a crucial step necessary for the efficient production of champagne. She quickly became known as “La Grande Dame” of Champagne among her bubbly peers.

Fun Fact: The oldest unopened bottle of Veuve Clicquot is from 1893. It was discovered in 2008 inside a piece of furniture at Torosay Castle on the Isle of Mull in Scotland[10]. The priceless bottle, thought to be in perfect condition due to its storage in a dark cabinet, is now on display at the Veuve Clicquot visitor center in Reims, France.

The bottle label’s unique yellow coloring has been around for more than a hundred years. As a trademark attorney, I can tell you that it’s rare for color to be deemed a trademark, or source indictor[11]. In must what have been one of the earliest such filings, if not the earliest, the company registered the yellow label as a trademark on February 12, 1877. Trademark protection for the colored label continues today, more than 138 years later, in the US, the EU and Australia.[12]

Lawyer Footnotes
[1] #copyrightinfringement
[2] Yes, yes, I know. There is a 30 day right to appeal. I am not counting my eggs before they’re hatched, but either way, this was a big win.
[3] For more than two years!
[4] Which lasted more than 8 hours and went until about 10 p.m. My second deposition, with an expert witness, was about the same.
[5] Though these exciting events happened a few days ago, Husband was away and I couldn’t bring myself to open the bubbly without him!
[6] Thanks, Whole Paycheck Foods.
[7] Word to the wise, it’s not pronounced voovey clee kwot…it’s voov clee coe. Listen to the correct pronunciation here.
[8] Their fathers’ businesses were next store to each other and they thought consolidating would be better for everyone. It was an arranged marriage. For more of Madame’s inspiring history check this out.
[9] Hence the name, Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin. Fascinating, right?
torosay[10] Another fun fact: Husband and I plan to buy Torosay Castle someday in the near future. This photo of it has been on our fridge for the last seven years, ever since we heard about this Clicquot story. #lifegoals
[11] Tiffany’s (the “Tiffany Blue Box”), Christian Louboutin (“Famous Red Soles”), and Owens Corning (pink insulation) are among the few that have successfully obtained color based trademarks.
[12] Now that’s some serious #lawyering

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