Indian court rules domestic whisky not “Scotch”

CEAT Kelani Holdings Managing Director Ravi Dadlani (right) and Lanka Ashok Leyland CEO Umesh Gautham exchange the OEM agreement

NEW DELHI, Apr. 24 (AFP) – An Indian court has ordered domestic whisky makers not to use the words “Scot” or “Scotch” for their distilled brews as it would violate global copyright laws, a lawyer said Monday. These include 53,000 dollars to Cartier, 35,000 dollars to Time magazine and 280,000 dollars to Microsoft — all made last year. The Delhi High Court also ordered India’s Golden Bottling Ltd. to pay 810,000 rupees (18,000 dollars) in penalties to the Scotch Whisky Association of Britain which filed the case, said Pravin Anand, counsel for the association.

Judge Madan B. Lokur agreed that “the words Scot or Scotch” identify whisky produced in Scotland and no domestic manufacturer can use them to market its liquor,” Anand said.

The Scotch Whisky Association of Britain filed the case against Golden Bottling when it found the latter using the words “Red Scot” to sell its whisky, Anand said.

Golden Bottling’s use of “Scot” gave the impression that its product originated in Scotland or that it was Scotch whisky, Anand said.

This is the first ruling under India’s Geographical Indications law passed in 1999 in concert with the World Trade Organisation’s Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights A

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