Wild Geese Whiskey victorious in Australian trademark dispute

Protégé International has recently won a case against Pernod Ricard, granting them the right to distribute their ‘Wild Geese Irish Whiskey’ in Australia.

Pernod Ricard, who formerly owned a trademark for  ‘Wild Turkey’ before they sold it to Campari in 2013, took action against Protégé as they claimed that the new mark would infringe their existing one.  They also declared that the similarity of the two marks  would create confusion for consumers in the marketplace.

In 2007, Pernod Ricard took possession of the mark ‘Wild Geese’ previously owned by Wild Geese Wines in an attempt to block the new whiskey from entering the Irish whiskey market  in Australia.

However, despite owning the trademark for ‘Wild Geese’, Pernod Ricard failed to demonstrate proper use of it which resulted in the five presiding judges ruling in favour of Protégé International.

The victorious company was granted indemnity costs.

According to The Spirits Business, the chairman of The Wild Geese Irish Whiskey brand stated that their brand “has been involved in a 14-year legal battle with Pernod Ricard involving over 50 separate actions around the world, all of which we have successfully defended.”

He went on to say that this long-awaited victory is extremely important for the Irish whiskey industry as well as for them.

This case has demonstrated that in order to be successful in protecting your brand, if you choose to obtain a new trademark to prevent the entry of a competitor into the marketplace, you would need to ensure that the mark is used in the correct way for the required amount of time.

Therefore, companies, like Pernod Ricard, that have a large portfolio of trademarks should be careful to ensure that they make enough use of them in order to keep their trademark rights and protect their brands in the future.

For advice and more information on searching, acquiring, registering and enforcing Trademarks please visit our website, http://www.lipex.com. Our unique database of trademarks for sale or license could save you time and help protect your brand.