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Protecting Scotch Whisky

It is said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.  We disagree. 

The popularity of Scotch Whisky means that there are many people who want to take advantage of that by selling fake Scotch or trading unfairly on its reputation. Imitations threaten the integrity of Scotch Whisky and the reputation it has built up over many years.  It also undermines consumer confidence in genuine Scotch Whisky. 

Legal Protection in the UK

Protecting Scotch Whisky from unfair competition is therefore one of our top priorities. Strong legal protection forms the solid foundation on which the industry’s success is built.

Protecting Scotch Whisky outside the UK

As a registered "Geographical Indication" (GI) in many overseas markets including the EU, Scotch Whisky is protected from misuse, imitation, evocation and any other practice liable to mislead consumers.

Case Studies

There are many ways to take unfair advantage of the reputation of Scotch Whisky and the SWA will take action to prevent the sale of misleadingly labelled products. Some examples are set out below.

Become a DRAM Buster!

Help us protect Scotch Whisky - become a DRAM Buster!

news & commentary

07 February 2019

SWA Comments on Glen Buchenbach case

Our case against Glen Buchenbach presented clear and compelling evidence to the court that 'Glen' is strongly associated with Scotland and Scotch Whisky, and the only reason to use 'Glen' for a German whisky is because of its undoubted association with Scotch Whisky.

29 November 2018

SWA secures GI protection for Scotch Whisky in Indonesia

Scotland's national drink has secured enhanced legal protection in Indonesia after the Scotch Whisky Association's application to register "Scotch Whisky" as a Geographical Indication (GI) was successful.

06 August 2018

Scotch Whisky granted certification trademark in South Africa

'Scotch Whisky' registered as a certification trademark in South Africa

05 March 2018

Protecting Scotch in the age of Brexit

The UK is preparing for a time of great change as we approach Brexit. Leaving the European Union will undoubtedly have a major impact on British industries and exporters, including Scotch Whisky.

28 February 2018

SWA secures GI protection for Scotch Whisky in New Zealand

Scotland's national drink has secured enhanced legal protection in New Zealand after the Scotch Whisky Association's application to register "Scotch Whisky" as a Geographical Indication (GI) was successful.

01 February 2018

10 year renewal of Scotch Whisky trademark in China announced during Prime Minister trade visit

The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) has renewed its collective trademarks 'SCOTCH WHISKY' and its translation '苏格兰威士忌' in China until November 2028. As a result, Scotch Whisky is officially protected from locally produced copies for a further 10 years.

29 September 2017

Scotch Whisky one of the first to apply for ‘geographical indication’ in New Zealand

12 June 2017

Our role in trademark law

publications

31 January 2019

Scotch Whisky Regulations 2009: Guidance for Producers and Bottlers

The following guidance is aimed at assisting those producing and selling Scotch Whisky, and those designing labels, packaging and advertising, to comply with the 2009 Scotch Whisky Regulations.