For Canadians, "Glen" Designates Whisky From Scotland, Court Rules


A recent trademark decision by a Federal Court of Canada highlights a nuance in that nation?s trademark protection laws, and the importance of monitoring international trademark developments within any particular industry.

In Scotch Whisky Association v. Glenora Distillers International Ltd., a Federal Court sitting in Ottawa, Ontario considered the trademark use and registration of the term GLEN for whisky. The Court first explained that generally, under Canadian trademark law, a trademark for whisky must be refused registration either if it is deceptively misdescriptive of the place where the whisky originated, or if the mark has, by ordinary and bona fide commercial usage, become recognized in Canada as designating a place of origin.

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