China grants 10 year renewal of ‘Scotch whisky’ trademark

The ‘Scotch whisky’ trademark, along with its Chinese translation (苏格兰威士忌), has been renewed in China, protecting the Scottish export from imitations for a further 10 years.

The term ‘Scotch whisky’ will be protected in China for a further 10 years

The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) applied for the renewal, which was granted as SWA Chief Executive, Karen Betts, joined the Prime Minister Theresa May on a three-day trade visit to China. It means that the term will benefit from protection, discouraging misuse of the name on locally produced fakes and imitations, until 2028.

Since securing trademark protection in 2008, the SWA has worked closely with the British Embassy and Chinese authorities to crack down on locally produced spirits falsely described as “Scotch”.

So far, it has dealt with around 200 brands of fake “Scotch”, and challenged more than 100 trademarks featuring Scottish words and images that companies have applied for “in bad faith” for use on their Chinese made products, it said.

“The renewal of the ‘SCOTCH WHISKY’ trademark is an important step in securing future growth for the world’s leading high-quality spirit drink in China, the world’s largest spirits market,” said SWA chief executive Karen Betts.

“While challenges remain, Scotch Whisky producers can be confident that the Chinese government officially recognises Scotch Whisky as a Scottish product, produced according to traditional methods, that should be given special recognition in the Chinese market.

“The industry has enjoyed great support from the Chinese authorities, who take food fraud and IP protection seriously, in tackling fake “Scotch”. We’re grateful too to the British Embassy, which has provided invaluable support.”

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