China agrees Scotch whisky trademark until 2028By Amy Hopkins
The Scotch whisky industry has renewed its trademark in China for another 10 years in order to protect future growth of the category.
The announcement was made while Karen Betts, chief executive of industry body the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA), accompanied UK prime minister Theresa May on a three-day trade visit to China.
The trademark ‘Scotch Whisky’ and its Chinese translation have been renewed until 2028, thus protecting the category from local counterfeit products.
The SWA first secured trademark protection for Scotch whisky in China in 2008. It has since dealt with 200 illicit products labelled as ‘Scotch whisky’ and fought more than 100 trademarks featuring Scottish words and images.
“While challenges remain, Scotch whisky producers can be confident that the Chinese government officially recognises Scotch whisky as a Scottish product, produced according to traditional methods, that should be given special recognition in the Chinese market,” commented Betts.
“The industry has enjoyed great support from the Chinese authorities, who take food fraud and IP protection seriously, in tackling fake ‘Scotch’. We’re grateful too to the British Embassy, which has provided invaluable support.”
Liam Fox, international trade secretary, added: “China is a key market for British goods and services with exports increasing by 25% over the last year to more than £59 billion and it is my ambition to ensure that the trade relationship between our two countries continues to grow.”
According to the SWA, 25 bottles of Scotch whisky are exported to China every minute. In the first half of 2017, exports of Scotch whisky to China increased by 25.9% to 6.8m bottles. In terms of value, exports to the market grew 45.3% to £22.9m.