The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) has finally won its legal case against the German distiller, Waldhorn, over the use of ‘Glen’after the earlier court ruling was upheld by the Hanseatic Higher Regional Court in Hamburg.
The SWA first took legal action in 2013 against the distiller for the use of ‘Glen’ in the branding of its single malt Glen Buchenbach and in 2019, it won its case in the lower court in Hamburg. The court ruled that the distillery had to change the name of the whisky because it breached the geographical indication of Scotch and the inclusion of the word “glen” might imply to consumers that it was produced in Scotland. This decision was then appealed by Waldhorn. The appeal was rejected last week when the original ruling was upheld.
Alan Park, SWA Director of Legal Affairs, said, “The SWA has consistently taken action in our global markets to prevent the use of Scottish indications of origin on whisky which is not Scotch Whisky. This is vital to protecting Scotland’s national drink and is a deterrent to those who seek to take advantage of the quality reputation of Scotch Whisky and potentially mislead consumers.
“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.
“We are pleased with the ruling that the use of Glen on a German whisky is both misleading and evocative of Scotch Whisky.”