THE SCOTCH WHISKY ASSOCIATION (SWA) (Address: Quartermile Two, 2 Lister Square, Edinburgh, EH3 9GL, Scotland, web: www.scotch-whisky.org.uk) was established for the protection and the representation of all companies in Scotland which produce genuine scotch whisky. Sample cases, in which we have represented the above association in Greece against Greek and foreign producers of whisky and other alcoholic drinks based on rules of the Trademark Law and unfair competition, are mentioned below.
It was an honour to receive a congratulating letter from the above association, which is recognition of our effective legal work.
1) SWA against the Greek company OINOPOIIA POTOPOIIA KISSAMOS, G. KOYTSOURELIS ABE
The company OINOPOIIA POTOPOIIA KISSAMOS, G. KOUTSOURELIS ABE, intending to take advantage of the preference of the Greek consumers for scotch whisky, produced and distributed onto the Greek market an alcoholic drink bottled in such a way that confusion was created regarding the kind of drink and its country of origin. The word "SCOT" was written on the label of the bottle, there was a design depicting traditional Scottish dress and under the design there was an English shield. Furthermore, most of the words were English. Consequently, the consumers considered the above drink to be scotch whisky.
The Court of 1st Inst. of Athens approved the petition for Security Measures of SWA through its decision No. 3581/87 and ordered the opponent party, among other requirements, to stop the sales and distribution of the above mentioned drink and to withdraw the remaining bottles from the market.
2) SWA against the Greek company MARIA KATSAROU - ALEXANDROS MERZANAKIS OE
The Greek firm MARIA KATSAROU - ALEXANDROS MERZANAKIS OE produced and distributed onto the Greek market alcoholic drink on the label of which there was the title "GOLDEN CROWN WHISKY". Moreover, on the label of the bottle there was a design of an English Guardsman at the bottom of which were written in Greek the words "GREEK WHISKY". This drink contained probably only a small quantity of genuine whisky.
The Court of 1st Inst. of Athens approved the petition for Security Measures of SWA through its decision No. 8077/76 and ordered, among other requirements, a halt to the production and sale of the above product.
3) SWA against Apostolos Vamvounis
Apostolos Vamvounis produced and distributed onto the Greek market alcoholic drinks, on the bottle of which appeared 1) the words "BLACK LION, FINEST BLENDED WHISKY" and a design of the head of a lion and 2) the words "AILISSBURN, THE FINEST WHISKY" and a design of a unicorn and a royal shield.
The Court of 1st Inst. of Athens approved the petition for Security Measures of SWA through its decision No. 3155/76 and, among other requirements, prohibited the opponent party from producing and selling the above alcoholic drinks.
4) SWA against the Greek company A. and G. GEORGA OE
The Greek company A. and G. GEORGA OE produced and distributed onto the Greek market a drink which bore no relationship to whisky. However, on the label of its bottle were written the words "Scotch Whisky" in Greek and "THE GOLDEN HORSESHOE". There was also a design of a horse surrounded by a horseshoe. Moreover, on the packaging there were some other elements with which the producer intended to deceive the consumers regarding the country of origin of the drink.
The Court of 1st Inst. of Athens approved the petition for Security Measures of SWA through its decision No. 1261/76 and ordered the opponent party to withdraw the pre-mentioned drink from the market within 25 days.
5) SWA against Sven Brassat
Sven Brassat, resident of Germany, filed the IR trademark registration “Glen Dowan” (international registration number: 1068184) designating Greece for whisky and other alcoholic drinks. The registration was initially approved in Greece through the decision no. 1046/22.02.2017 of the Examiner of the Trademark Department of the Ministry of Development and Investments.
The Administrative Trademark Committee, through its decision no. 212/2018, accepted the opposition filed in the name of SWA against the initial decision, because it was judged that the word “Glen”, which is included in the opponent’s mark and constitutes a protected geographical indication, is undoubtedly associated with Scotland and every use of this word for products without a Scottish origin is misleading and creates confusion regarding the origin, the nature and the quality of the products.