CJEU: German infringement of Scotch whisky turns on interpretation of ‘glen’
A German whisky may be infringing protections enjoyed by Scotland, the Court of Justice of the European Union has said.
The court took no final view on Glen Buchenbach, referring the Scotch Whisky Association’s complaint back to judges in Germany for a ruling.
However, it offered guidance to determine whether the German distiller Michael Klotz’s label fell foul of EU law.
While the drink stated it was distilled in Germany, the SWA argued that the use of the Gaelic word “glen” could imply it was actually Scotch.
The question for the domestic court, the CJEU said, was whether the “average European consumer” would make that mistake.
It added that “glen” must not merely evoke Scotland but must bring to mind Scotch whisky.
Whisky accounts for 20 per cent of UK food and drink exports as well as about 40,000 jobs.