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December 30, 2020

Obtained Foreign GI Registration in Laos for Scotch Whisky

Tilleke & Gibbins’ advised the Scotch Whisky Association in the registration of the second-ever foreign Geographical Indication (GI) in Laos. Notably, Tilleke & Gibbins previously also advised a different client on the registration of the first-ever foreign GI in Laos, “Champagne.”

Wanting to gain protection in Laos for their world-renowned product, the client approached our firm to assist with preparing and submitting a GI registration application. Though the application is still pending, the client has discovered that a local manufacturer had registered a trademark containing their product name [SCOTCH WHISKY—CONFIDENTIAL], and such mark had been affixed to thousands of beverages distributed in Laos. After this finding, the client sent the infringing product in for analysis, and it was determined to be inconsistent with the product’s usual characteristics.

We pursued the infringers on behalf of our client, sending cease-and-desist letters and requesting that the infringer withdraw the infringing trademark and sign a letter to ensure they will not repeat such offense. Within one month, we secured the withdrawal of the trademark, negotiated with the infringer to cease all sales of goods bearing our client’s GI, and received a signed letter of undertaking ensuring that they will not repeat their offences.

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