In a follow up to our posting of December 20, 2006, the Trade-marks Opposition Board has now sided with the Nova Scotia distiller of GLEN BRETON whisky. In the Opposition Board’s view, members of the public who purchase GLEN BRETON whisky will not be confused into thinking that they are buying Scotch Whisky. The Scotch Whisky Association has indicated that it will appeal the decision to the Federal Court, so stay tuned for Round 2.
The Scotch Whisky Association is battling a Cape Breton distiller of whisky over its use of the word Glen in its trademark. The Association, which represents the owners of well known brands such as Glenfiddich, Glenlivet and Glenmorangie, is concerned that consumers will assume that Glen Breton Rare single malt whisky, produced by Glenora Distillery, is a scotch whisky.
The Association argues that the word “Glen” is too closely linked to scotch whisky for anyone other than Scottish producers to use. “Scotch Whisky” itself is a designation that is protected under the federal Trade-marks Act for use only with whisky produced in Scotland.
The Canadian distillery, which has applied to register the mark GLEN BRETON, argues that Cape Breton, where it is based, has very strong Scottish roots because it was settled by the Scottish over 200 years ago. The region is riddled with towns and villages that contain the word “Glen”, which means a place at the base of highlands or mountains. The Association has opposed the GLEN BRETON trademark application. Lawyers for both sides recently presented oral argumentsÂ and a decision of the Opposition Board is still months away.