The Scotch Whisky Association Ltd.  Goes after 2 U.S. Distillers

The governing body for Scotch whisky The Scotch Whisky Association Ltd.  filed an opposition against a private label distiller LeVecke Corp. over the name “Winter Glen” that it claims the Gaelic term “Glen,” a common Scottish place name that means ‘narrow valley’ and has been extensively used for many years in the marketing of Scotch whisky and forms part of many Scotch whisky distillery names. . .When used to identify applicant’s goods, the word ‘Glen,’ as the dominant feature of the ‘Winter Glen’ mark, constitutes a geographic indication of origin of such goods, . . .As a result, applicant’s proposed use of ‘Winter Glen’ gives the commercial impression that applicant’s goods originate in Scotland, which they do not.”

The Scotch Whisky Association Ltd.  also opposed Sazerac’s application to register “Piperdean” arguing the name was “closely associated by the public with Scotland.” It cited bagpipers and the historic Battle of Piperdean, fought in Scotland, as evidence. It also argued that the distilled spirit was not scotch whiskey and this would deceived the public and that allowing such brand “would damage the goodwill and image of Scotch whisky that has been developed over hundreds of years by Scotch whisky producers.”

The issue for the Trademark Appeals Board in these two cases is whether the average American consumer would associate the term Glen with Scotland and be deceived by mistakenly assume the product originated from Scotland rather than the U.S.

The case numbers are 91239756 and 91226708.

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