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Scotch whisky gets trademark protection in Hong Kong

Hong Kong has joined the list of territories which have officially awarded Scotch whisky with trademark recognition, the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) has announced.

Scotch whisky gets trademark protection in Hong Kong

The SWA’s application to register “Scotch whisky” as a Certification Trademark in Hong Kong has been successful.

The decision means that the description “Scotch whisky” can only be lawfully used on products made in Scotland in accordance with strict production and labelling requirements.

Brian Davidson, British Consul General to Hong Kong and Macao, said: “This milestone recognises Scotch whisky as a symbol of Scotland’s rich heritage and craftsmanship. We are grateful for the continued appreciation shown by Hong Kong consumers – they can now have even more confidence in the provenance of Scotland’s beloved national spirit.”

Scotch whisky is already protected as a Geographical Indication (GI) and a trademark in Mainland China and as a GI in Macao.

Hong Kong has now joined the list of over 100 global territories which have officially recognised Scotch whisky as a Scottish product, produced according to traditional methods, and deserving of special protection.

Requirements include that Scotch only be made from the raw materials of water, cereals and yeast and matured in Scotland for at least three years in oak casks.

Hong Kong is an increasingly important market for Scotch, with exports to the region worth more than £31 million in 2022.

Lindesay Low, deputy legal director at the Scotch Whisky Association, said of the decision: “ Improving protection of Scotch whisky in developing markets is a priority for the SWA Legal Team, as consumers in these markets explore and expand their knowledge of Scotland’s national drink. Hong Kong’s recognition of the Scotch whisky certification trademark gives consumers in the market the confidence and certainty that what they are purchasing is the genuine quality product.”

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