28 September 2016Trademarks

‘Scotch whisky’ registered as certification mark in Taiwan

‘Scotch whisky’ has been registered as a certification trademark in Taiwan, in what the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) has called a “major legal breakthrough”.

According to the association, Taiwan is the fourth biggest market for Scotch by value, with exports worth £75 million ($97.4 million) in the first six months of 2016. It is also the third biggest overseas market for single malt, with exports worth £41 million in the first half 2016.

The SWA applied for the trademark, which recognises that Scotch must be made in Scotland from water, cereals and yeast and matured for at least three years.

A second trademark has also been awarded in Taiwan to protect the Chinese characters that spell out ‘Scotch whisky’.

The SWA said that the existence of the UK customs’ Spirit Drinks Verification Scheme was an important factor in meeting the requirements to secure protection.

The scheme, which was introduced in 2014, ensures every part of the Scotch whisky supply chain is “mapped by the industry, registered with the UK government and inspected to check it complies with all the rules on the production of Scotch”, the association explained.

“It is of great commercial value to the Scotch whisky industry and gives consumers confidence in the quality and provenance of what they are buying,” the association said of the new trademarks.

Lindesay Low, SWA senior legal counsel, said: “Taiwan has for many years been a major market for Scotch whisky, in particular single malts. The trademarks for scotch whisky mean that consumers can have even greater confidence in the quality of what they are buying.”

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