SWA objected to over 100 trademarks in 2013
The Scotch whisky Association (SWA) objected to over 100 whisky trademarks in 2013 as it continues its campaign against counterfeit brands.
In its recent Annual Legal Report for 2013, the association claimed to have made 103 trademark objections across the world, the most of which were registered in India and China.
The group made 19 trademark objections in India, where it claims an “extremely worrying” amount of whisky that does not adhere to official definitions is exported to the EU.
In China, the SWA made 17 trademark objections, a significant amount of which incorporated the word “glen”, which the association claims is “suggestive of Scotland”.
Lindesay Low, SWA legal advisor, said that f the protected distillery names listed in The Scotch Whisky Regulations 2009, around 25% include the word “glen”, meaning that its connection to the Scotch category is “clear”.
“Not surprisingly, those seeking to take advantage of the reputation of Scotch Whisky frequently use the word “glen” on their products to reinforce the illusion that they are Scotch Whiskies, and with the growing popularity of Scotch Whisky, we were faced with a raft of such applications in China,” added Low.
While these objections were initially dismissed by the Chinese Trade Mark Office, which has claimed evidence was “not sufficient” to show that the word “glen” was connected to Scotch whisky, the Trade Mark Review and Adjudication Board (TRAB) has now rejected eight “glen” trademark applications.
These include: Castle Glen; Glen Range; Glen Volis; Glen Lyon; Glen Dare; Glen Jent, Glenroyal and Glend.
Low added that the SWA is “hopeful” that a number of other cases working their way through the system will be subject to similar ruling.
“There appears to be a growing realisation that more needs to be done in China, and I hope we can harness this determination to continue to protect Scotch Whisky in the years ahead,” he said.
In addition to India and China, some of the countries where the SWA registered trademark objections include Nepal (nine), Nigeria (five), and Australia (four), Colombia (four) and South Africa (four).