Loch Ness’s only distillery, Loch Ness Spirits, has defeated an attempt by Duncan Taylor Scotch Whisky to invalidate their trademark use of the term ‘Loch Ness’ in their award-winning gin which is distilled on the banks of the Loch itself.
The U.K. Intellectual Property Office ruled that the whisky giant could not cancel the trademarks belonging to Loch Ness Spirits due to a failure to demonstrate convincing evidence that it had an earlier right over the term ‘Loch Ness’.
Husband and wife Kevin and Dr Lorien Cameron-Ross, Co-founders and owners of Loch Ness Spirits spoke of their relief to finally hear this ruling.
“We are a fledgeling company, a tiny organisation, producing a world-class product,” Lorien said, “and this case has been the difference between us making a profit and not even breaking even.”
“We have felt bullied and intimidated by some of the aggressive approaches made to us over the past two years. The sad irony in this is that our family have lived here for 500 years and we have built our reputation based on the heritage, provenance and authenticity of our gin and absinthe.”
Head of the distilling process itself, Kevin Cameron-Ross, spoke of the strength of that local connection the distillery has to Loch Ness itself.
“Our products ensure a meaningful connection between our history, geography, botany, geology and water flowing into Loch Ness itself.
“Apart from Lorien and I we only employ one other person. So purposefully we produce small batches. Our Loch Ness Gin we limit to 2000 bottles per year. Loch Ness Absinthe currently runs to less than 500 bottles per year.”
“This has truly been a David and Goliath battle. We were prepared to sacrifice it all because we believe we need to protect something so precious as this. We now look forward to 2020, secure that our trademark is safe. We can continue with the work we love doing and our customers greatly appreciate.”
This is great news for Lorien, Kevin and their team and a victory that will doubtless be celebrated by the many fans of Loch Ness Gin.