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Scotch whisky gets registered trademark in Taiwan

In what the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) has hailed as a “major legal breakthrough”, Scotch whisky has been registered as a certification mark in Taiwan.

The new legislation will give the industry better protection against counterfeit expressions

The country is currently the fourth biggest market for Scotch by value – with exports worth £75 million in the first six months of the year – and the third biggest overseas market for single malt, with exports worth £41m in the same period.

The new legislation will give consumers and the industry better protection against counterfeit expressions, and will make it “more straightforward” to take legal action against anyone trying to produce or sell fake Scotch in the future.

The SWA applied for the trademark, and says the introduction of the UK Customs’ Spirit Drinks Verification Scheme in 2014 was an “important factor” in meeting the requirements necessary to secure protection.

The scheme ensures every part of the category’s supply chain is mapped, registered with the UK Government and inspected to check that it complies with all the rules on the production of Scotch.

The trademark recognises that Scotch must be made in Scotland from water, cereals and yeast and matured for at least three years. A second trademark has been awarded in Taiwan to protect the Chinese characters that spell out ‘Scotch whisky’.

Lindesay Low, Scotch Whisky Association senior legal counsel, said: “Taiwan has for many years been a major market for Scotch whisky, in particular single malts. The trademarks for Scotch whisky mean that consumers can have even greater confidence in the quality of what they are buying. It will also give a further boost to Scotch whisky producers exporting to Taiwan.”

“We would like to thank the authorities in Taiwan who were of great assistance in working with us on the successful outcome of our trademark application, as were the UK Government.”

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