The Federal Court has ordered Rush Rich pay Treasury Wine Estates, the owner of Penfolds, $375,000 in compensation for imitation of the famous Australian wine brand.
AAP and others report that Rush Rich, which has no Australian website but is located in Adelaide according to corporate filings, had been buying bulk South Australian wine, bottling this, and exporting it to China under a brand similar to Penfolds’ “Ben Fu”. Ben Fu, Penfolds’ Chinese brand name, means “chasing prosperity” – similar in meaning to Rush Rich.
“These proceedings should send a strong message to other copycat operators that their attempts to exploit and infringe TWE’s intellectual property rights and reputation will not be tolerated,” said Treasury in a statement.
China is the leading market for Australian wine exports, and worth over $1.2 billion annually.
The ABC reports that Rush Rich was last week ordered by a Shanghai court to pay approximately $426,000 in compensation to TWE. It also had to apologise through WeChat and the China Wine magazine.
Copycat and counterfeits are a longstanding problem for Treasury and other Australian winemakers exporting to China.
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