The maker of Glenfiddich, one of the most celebrated Scotch Whisky in the world, has lost a legal battle against an Indian firm it accused of copying its brand.
Mumbai businessman Vivek Anasane wants to expand his drinks firm into the UK with a Scotch whiskey named Glenfield.
Glenfiddich owner William Grant & Sons tried to block his attempts to trademark the whiskey, saying it uses the same green and gold colors and stag on its packaging, the Daily Mail reported.
Its lawyers said the application overlapped with its registered trademark, adding that the similarity between the names could lead people to confuse the two products.
Glenfiddich bosses claimed that Glenfield could benefit from this confusion and wanted the application to be blocked.
But the UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO), which rules on trademark disputes, found in Indian Glenfield’s favor, saying consumers were unlikely to confuse the two whiskeys.
In a written ruling, trademark hearing officer Mark Bryant said: ‘Other than the common occurrence of glen, meaning “a narrow valley, especially in Scotland or Ireland, the respective marks have no conceptual similarity.”
He added, that while the colors of both labels were similar, “the differences outweigh the similarities and the applicant’s mark will do no more than bringing the opponent’s mark fleetingly to mind. Therefore, there is insufficient similarity for a misrepresentation to occur.”
Anasane, 41, said his company, established in 2017, now wishes to start trading in the UK. He claimed no one could claim the right to the word ‘glen’ because it describes “a narrow valley.”
In February, UK’s Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) won a long-running legal case to stop a German distillery calling their single malt Glen Buchenbach.