On direct examination, Blythe declared he did not consider the term “Spanish Champagne” misleading. To him, the words simply meant that the wine came from Spain but had the same characteristics as Champagne.
On cross examination, Blythe agreed that the use of the word “Champagne” on the label added to the snob appeal of the package.
Summing Up For The Defendants
Essential to the case was the state of the public’s knowledge about Champagne. Did a large number of customers purchasing the defendants’ wine not know that Champagne came from France? Not likely. And unless a large number of people did not know Champagne came from France, the term Spanish Champagne was not likely to mislead the public.
As for the possibility that there were some who didn’t know Champagne came from France, the advocate said, “Possibly there are some people who still think the earth is flat.”
Not one witness, the barrister pointed out, had said that he had customers who did not know Champagne came from France.
It was noteworthy, the lawyer said, that in the previous criminal trial, 12 jurors had heard the evidence and decided the defendants’ labels were not misleading.
The law of the land, the barrister declared, was not intended to protect people who did not behave with ordinary caution when buying luxury items–people who bought something with which they were unacquainted and did not stop to ask questions about it; the law protected the illiterate and the ignorant only where they were buying everyday household articles, not luxuries. Wine was definitely a luxury in England.
None of the presented evidence showed, said the counsel, that the description of Spanish Champagne brought about purchases by deceit or confusion.”