South Korea grants Scotch whisky trademark

7th May, 2019 by Amy Hopkins

Scotch whisky has been registered as a certification trademark in South Korea, enhancing legal protection for the category post-Brexit.

Scotch whisky will benefit from continued protection in South Korea after the UK leaves the EU

Scotch whisky protection is currently offered through the EU-South Korea Free-Trade Agreement, but the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) claims the trademark registration “ensures” its continued legal protection after the UK leaves the EU.

The SWA has registered intellectual property rights in more than 100 markets around the world to ensure that Scotch whisky is recognised as a Scottish product made adhering to strict regulations.

“The industry takes the legal protection of Scotch whisky very seriously,” said Lindesay Low, legal deputy director of the SWA. “Only through robust and consistent action can consumers be assured that the Scotch whisky they enjoy is the genuine article each and every time.

“By securing a certification trademark in South Korea, the SWA has ensured continued legal protection for Scotch whisky post-Brexit.

“This is just the latest legal success which shows the SWA will continue to set up legal frameworks that enable us to take action to stop the sale of fake and counterfeit products that unfairly take advantage of the quality and reputation of Scotch whisky.”

British ambassador to South Korea Simon Smith added: “Scotland’s national drink has long enjoyed widespread popularity in South Korea. This enhanced legal protection will give consumers continued assurance that the Scotch whisky they buy is the genuine article.”

In August last year, the SWA successfully registered Scotch whisky as a trademark in South Africa, meanwhile China agreed to renew Scotch whisky’s trademark for another 10 years.

In 2018, value and volume exports of Scotch whisky hit a record high, reaching £4.07 billion (US$5.25bn) from the sale of 1.28bn bottles.

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