Whisky makers lose bid to ban Cape Breton 'Glen'
The Scotch Whisky Association has lost its fight to stop a small Nova Scotia distillery from incorporating the word "Glen" into the name of its single malt whisky.
The Supreme Court of Canada said Thursday it will not hear the association's appeal of a lower court ruling that approved the label used by Cape Breton's Glenora Distillers. The court dismissed the appeal with costs, meaning the association must also pay part of Glenora's legal fees according to a scale set by the court.
As usual, the court gave no reasons for its decision.
"The Association is disappointed by the Canadian Supreme Court's decision refusing leave to appeal," the whisky association said in a statement.
"However, the Court of Appeal's findings that the mark has caused confusion because of its use of a 'Glen' prefix, and that Glenora has marketed its product as Scotch in all but name, have not been reversed."
Glen Breton Rare Canadian Single Malt Whisky is the only single malt produced in Canada, according to the Glenora Inn and Distillery website.
Glenora spokesman Lauchie MacLean said the end of the nine-year fight over the name means the company can move forward with confidence.
"Now we can go safely a little bit more. We can go to the next stage of properly getting our trademarks in possibly other jurisdictions," he told CBC News.
Name zealously guarded
The Scotch Whisky Association, which zealously guards the name scotch as applying only to whisky made in Scotland, argued that use of the name Glen Breton could confuse consumers.
The prefix "glen" is associated with many single-malt scotches, the association says, and people might think that Glen Breton is a Scottish product.
The Federal Court of Appeal rejected the argument earlier this year.
"We will continue to monitor the marketing of this product to ensure that it does not cause continued confusion and will oppose applications to register the mark in any country where such confusion is likely," the association said.
It says it will still oppose the use of the label outside Canada.
Glenora Distillers International Ltd., is Canada's only single malt whisky distillery and is based in Glenville, N.S.
MacLean said the contentious whisky is named for the area.
With files from The Canadian Press