The D’Aquino Bros liquor group of Orange is being taken to the Federal Court by the Scottish-based Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) accused of selling alcohol falsely labelled as being scotch.
In court papers seen by the Central Western Daily the SWA alleges D’Aquino Bros and seven related parties engaged in “flagrant” conduct.
“The sale of alcoholic beverages labelled as scotch whisky which do not comply with the SWA Mark Rules involves consumers being deceived as to the nature and characteristics of the beverages concerned,” the SWA claims.
The SWA represents about 70 whisky distilleries and companies and has previously taken court action against D’Aquino Bros.
“Having regard to the history of litigation between the parties, and the fact that D’Aquino Bros are presently subject to final injunctions relating to their dealings with products labelled scotch and scotch whisky there is a strong need to deter D’Aquino Bros from engaging in the impugned conduct in the future,” it claims.
Three brands of whisky, ‘The Black Scot’, ‘The Clansmen’ and ‘J.B.R. Scotch Whisky’ are named in the court papers.
The case is to go before Justice Middleton in the Federal Court Victoria Registry in Melbourne on August 3.
The SWA is seeking damages for alleged trademark law infringement and an injunction which would ban D’Aquinos from using the word ‘scotch’ on its own drinks.
D’Aquino Bros declined to comment on the case.
The SWA website states that the association’s priorities included protecting against unfair competition and securing a quality definition of ‘whisky.’
“The Legal Affairs Department, with its five lawyers, paralegal and two data assistants, is primarily responsible for the protection of the scotch whisky trade,” it said.
“At any one time the team will be handling between 60 to 70 cases and a substantial trade mark case load.”