Chinese authorities renew Scotch whisky trademark


The Scotch whisky trademark has been renewed in China for a decade to protect it from locally-produced counterfeit bottles.

The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) said the Far East is a key market, with 25 bottles of Scotch exported to China every minute.

The SWA has worked with the British Embassy and Chinese authorities to crack down on about 200 locally-produced spirits falsely described as "Scotch", some of which have their own trademarks featuring Scottish words and images which companies have applied to for use on Chinese-made products.

A trademark agreement was first made in 2008 and has now been extended until 2028.

The announcement was made as SWA chief executive Karen Betts joined prime minister Theresa May on a three-day trade visit to China.

Ms Betts said: "The renewal of the 'Scotch whisky' trademark is an important step in securing future growth for the world's leading high-quality spirit drink in China, the world's largest spirits market.

"While challenges remain, Scotch whisky producers can be confident that the Chinese government officially recognises Scotch whisky as a Scottish product, produced according to traditional methods, that should be given special recognition in the Chinese market.

"The industry has enjoyed great support from the Chinese authorities, who take food fraud and IP protection seriously, in tackling fake 'Scotch'. We're grateful too to the British Embassy, which has provided invaluable support."

International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox said: "I am pleased to be in China with the Prime Minister and a diverse contingent of innovative British businesses to promote our exports and attract Chinese investment into the UK.

"China is a key market for British goods and services with exports increasing by 25% over the last year to more than £59 billion and it is my ambition to ensure that the trade relationship between our two countries continues to grow."