Sep 27, 2016

Scotch Whisky Is Granted Trade Mark Protection In Taiwan

Scotch Whisky has been granted trade mark protection after the application of the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) to register the name in Taiwan was successful. The protection will provide producers with more enforcement rights against fake Scotch Whisky products in Taiwan.

Scotch Whisky is renowned for its Scottish origins and prior to being awarded this trade mark other parties in Taiwan had the ability to legally make the drink and label it as Scotch, even if it was not actually produced in Scotland. Within the European Union Scotch Whisky is granted Protected Geographical Status. This means that within the EU, Scotch Whisky can only be marketed as such if it actually originates in Scotland. Similar protection is in place for products such as Cornish Pasties and Parma Ham. This protection does not however extend beyond the EU.

The SWA applied for the Taiwanese trade mark due to the popularity of Scotch Whisky in the country. The export market value for the popular drink in Taiwan is said to be worth £75m during the first six months of the year.

"Taiwan has for many years been a major market for Scotch Whisky, in particular Single Malts", said Lindesay Low, SWA senior legal counsel. "We would like to thank the authorities in Taiwan who were of great assistance in working with us on the successful outcome of our trade mark application, as were the UK Government."

The SWA applied for the trade mark with the support of the UK Customs' Spirit Drinks Verification Scheme, introduced in 2014. The purpose of this scheme is to ensure that every part of the Scotch Whisky supply chain is monitored and mapped by the industry. It aims to check that these suppliers are registered within the UK and are inspected vigorously to check that it complies with the rules on the production of Scotch Whisky to ensure that all elements originate from Scotland.

This case demonstrates the importance of seeking to protect the integrity of your brand in your most important markets even in the face of significant obstacles.

in: News, Trade Marks

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