The French drinks group Pernod-Ricard has breathed a sigh of relief after Poland's parliament voted against a measure that would have seriously undermined Pernod's rights to its Wyborowa vodka trademark.

Pernod acquired the Wyborowa trademark when it bought the Posnan distillery last year. However the Polish authorities were proposing a measure that would have made the word Wyborowa - which means premium in Polish - generic to the whole vodka industry, meaning any producer could use it on its bottle. 

The vote is relief to foreign investors, and avoids a potential stumbling block to Poland's bid to join the 15-member European Union.

The draft law was also seeking to keep production of the two vodka brands in Poland and the sourcing of the raw materials used local. But Pernod says it sources its ingredients locally anyway, and that it pledged to keep the Wyborowa brand in Poland for at least 12 years as part of last year's privatisation agreement.

In the end pernod got help from the EU and Poland avoided an embarrassing stumbling block to its bid to join the EU.

The law would have been in direct conflict with European trademark protection laws and EU farm commissioner Franz Fischler spoke out against it saying that he hoped Wyborowa would enjoy trademark protection in line with EU laws.

"If they hadn't voted against it, it would have been a big concern for investors. The law would have allowed confiscation of intellectual property with no warning," Pernod-Ricard spokesman Alain-Serge Delaitte said.