Scottish whiskey makers Tomatin Distillery has failed in its attempt to prevent hotel developer The Tomatin Trading Company Limited from using the mark ‘Tomatin’. Tomatin Distillery owns a distillery and visitor centre in a small village near Inverness. It claims it has used the sign “Tomatin” since 1863 and it has several registered UK trade marks for the mark “Tomatin” in relation to Scotch whisky and the sale of Scotch whisky.
In 2018, Tomatin Trading Company was granted permission for the development of a hotel, farm shop, restaurant and petrol station in close proximity to the distillery. In 2019, the Tomatin Trading Company filed a trade mark application to register a sign inclusive of the word “Tomatin”. The whiskey makers argue ‘Tomatin’ is associated with the Tomatin Distillery whiskey brand and the Tomatin Trading Company would gain an unfair advantage from its long standing reputation.
The Judge ruled in favour of the hotel developer, ruling whilst there are similarities between the companies, the public would know they were different businesses. It was also held that the trade mark application by Tomatin Trading Company applies to different goods and services to that of the marks owned by Tomatin Distillery.
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