One of the key priorities of the SWA is to safeguard the Scotch
Whisky category and prevent unfair competition.
We also aim to secure a quality definition of 'whisky' in our
main export markets.
The Legal Affairs Department (LAD), with its five lawyers,
paralegal and two data assistants, is primarily responsible
for the protection of the Scotch Whisky trade. At any one time the
team will be handling between 60 to 70 cases and a substantial
trade mark case load.
The Legal Affairs Department's three main
- To act as the guardian of the regulatory framework
- To stop infringements of the laws relating to Scotch
- To provide advice to members and non-members on compliance with
The Legal Affairs Department (LAD) does not carry out
brand protection - that is the responsibility of brand
LAD's responsibility is to stop any
mis-representation that states or suggests a whisky is Scotch
Whisky, or comes from Scotland, when that isn't the case.
It also protects the industry from general forms of
unfair competition to help ensure there is a level playing field
between all brands sold as whisky, whatever the origin.
There are many ways to market a spirit to suggest that it is Scotch Whisky when, in fact, it’s not. Read More
Scotland-related names and devices
Local producers using names or devices associated with ScotlandRead More
Using misleading references to Scotch Whisky.Read More
Brands & Labels
Use of the same brand name or label for both a Scotch Whisky and a different type of whisky or spirit.Read More
Use of descriptions such as “Scotch like” and “Scotch style”.Read More
The Language of Scotch
Use of the English language and absence of a clear indication of origin.Read More
Misleading Use of 'Whisky'
Misleading use of the description “whisky”Read More