Canada’s Intellectual Property Law Firm

Ekaterina Tsimberis spoke with CBC News about the protected geographical indication ‘Scotch Whisky’

Montréal partner Ekaterina Tsimberis spoke with CBC News about the protected geographical indication ‘Scotch Whisky’ in a court battle between a Vancouver Island whisky maker and the Scotch Whisky Association. The Scottish association claims that the Canadian whisky maker uses on its product packaging words synonymous with Scotch Whisky that are "likely to deceive and mislead consumers in British Columbia to wrongly believe that the defendant's whiskies are scotch whisky." 

Tsimberis told the CBC that the association's job is not only to protect its members but also to protect consumers from possible misrepresentation. That being said, she pointed out that the association's legal argument requires a bit of a leap because the Vancouver Island whisky maker does not use ‘Scotch’ on any of its packaging but rather uses other Scottish terms and geographic names like “Macaloney”, “Caledonian”, “Glenloy”, “Invermallie” and “Invernahaven”.

The trial judge of the Supreme Court of B.C. who would ultimately hear the case would have to determine how B.C. whisky consumers perceive the defendant’s product packaging and understand these terms/names and particularly “Macaloney’s Caledonian” [in relation to Scotland vs Canada]. "It's an interesting case because it almost pegs a bit of the old world with the new world and the interrelationships between people that come to this country as immigrants."

Read the full article on CBC News.