China Protects ‘Scotch’ Trademark

China is the fourth largest blended scotch market, and also one of the most abused by counterfeiters, a huge problem for the industry. Now a legal ruling could give new protection to legitimate distillers and distributors, the Scotsman reports.

The ruling protects the generic phrase “Scotch whisky,” following a special application for a collective trade mark by the Scotch Whisky Association. That means individual distillers will still have to register their own trademarks in China and work to protect their own brands. Nevertheless, industry giants including Diageo and the Edrington group hailed the decision as a big step forward.

“This positive decision to grant stronger ‘collective trademark’ protection to Scotch is an important advance and will help to ensure Chinese consumers and Scottish distillers are protected from fake products,” said Lindesay Low, a legal advisor to the SWA who specialises in the Chinese market.

~ by whisky1 on August 16, 2008.

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