William Grant & Sons the makers of Glenfiddich has lost a legal battle against an Indian firm, producing a Scotch whisky named Glenfield after it accused it of copying its brand.
William Grant & Sons tried to block Glenfield’s attempts to trademark the whisky, saying it uses the same green and gold colours and stag on its packaging stating that the similarity between the names could lead people to confuse the two products. It argued 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 Glenfield’s favour, saying consumers were unlikely to confuse the two whiskies.
The IPO said: ‘Other than the common occurrence of glen, meaning “a narrow valley, especially in Scotland or Ireland”, the respective marks have no conceptual similarity.’
It also said that while both labels featured stags, the fact that Glenfiddich shows one animal and Glenfield shows two was ‘unlikely to go unnoticed’.
While the colours of both labels were similar, the IPO said ‘the differences outweigh the similarities and the applicant’s mark will do no more than bring the opponent’s mark fleetingly to mind. Therefore, there is insufficient similarity for a misrepresentation to occur’.
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