A Canadian federal court has refused to register the "Glen Breton" trademark for a single malt whiskey produced in Nova Scotia.
The decision is a victory for the Scotch Whisky Association which has vigorously objected to the proposed trademark, saying the use of the word "glen," widely used on Scotches made in Scotland, would confuse and mislead consumers.
Evidence filed by the SWA included more than 30 instances of "Glen Breton" being described in Canada as "Scotch whisky" in retail stores, newspaper and magazine articles, price lists, menus and Web sites.
As I reported earlier, the SWA didn't get anywhere with Canada's Trade-Marks Opposition Board, which agreed with Glenora Distillers International Ltd. of Cape Breton when it said there would be no confusion.
The distillers claimed the use of the word "glen" is legitimate because the company is named Glenora, the community is named Glenora, it is next to a community called Glenora Falls, and coupling "glen" with "breton" is merely a legitimate combination of local place names.
In January, the Trade-Marks Opposition Board in Ottawa ruled in favor of Glenora. The SWA appealed the decision, claiming Glenora is "unfairly trading on Scotch whisky's international reputation."
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