Tuesday, April 25, 2006

GIs' ruling in India

The Delhi High Court has held that an Indian whisky manufacturer cannot use the word "Scot" or "Scotch" in compliance with the WTO-TRIPS Agreement relating to the protection of Geographical Indications (GIs).
The judgement was delivered on a lawsuit filed by the Scotch Whisky Association of United Kingdom seeking to restrain permanently an Indian whisky manufacturer from using the name "Red Scot" or any other name containing the word "Scot" to sell its product, suit that was filed under the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999, which was enacted as a result of the WTO-TRIPS Agreement.
Justice Madan B Lokur ruled that agreed that the words "Scot" or "Scotch" identify whisky produced in Scotland and no non-Scotish manufacturer can use them to market its liquor in India. The court directed Golden Bottling Ltd, from India, to pay damages the Scotch Association and its members for passing off its whisky as Scotch whisky. The court accepted that under the WTO-TRIPS agreement, protection was provided for GIs, which identifies the good originating in the territory of a Member or the goods that are essentially attributable to its geographical origin.

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