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"Relief" as Loch Ness Spirits prove rights to use its legitimate trademarks

By Louise Glen

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Keeping It RealKevin and Lorien Cameron-Ross, owners and founders of Loch Ness Spirits at Dores, Loch Ness.
Keeping It RealKevin and Lorien Cameron-Ross, owners and founders of Loch Ness Spirits at Dores, Loch Ness.

LOCH Ness Spirits have won a court case to continue to legitimately use its own trademark.

After nearly three years of defending its right to use the term Loch Ness in its company name, promotion and advertising, the Loch Ness-based company have now had a second, and final, ruling in its favour.

The company owned by Lorien and Kevin Cameron -Ross, and based in Dores makes a range of award winning gins and absinthe.

In a statement Mr and Mrs Cameron-Ross said: "After nearly three years of defending our legitimate trademarks, the appeal to have them invalidated by Duncan Taylor Scotch Whisky has been dismissed. To say this

is a relief, is an understatement."

In February 2018, Duncan Taylor Scotch Whisky requested that Loch Ness Spirits immediately stop applying the mark Loch Ness to any alcoholic beverages and to change the name of its company to something not including Loch Ness.

The statement continued: "We live on the banks of Loch Ness in an area where our family have been living for more than 500 years. At Loch Ness Spirits, we distil our products on site, using botanicals that are picked from the land around us. We use our own pure water supply and bottle our products here too.

"When we launched our company, we couldn’t conceive calling it anything else. We literally are Loch Ness Spirits."

"We have built up our company little by little since 2015 and we have registered the relevant trademarks, without incident, along the way."

"We couldn’t quite believe it when a multi-million pound, independent bottling company, with no understandable connection to Loch Ness, then applied to the Intellectual Property Office to invalidate our Loch Ness trademarks. Right from the start, we asked for proof of their claim and to this date, we have not seen any, despite nearly three years of an exhausting dispute.

"When we won the case in December 2019, we hoped that we could start looking forward again and concentrate our energies on building our company. However, our hopes were short-lived when Duncan Taylor launched an appeal. It’s been a tough year waiting for this process to play out but we can finally rest and recharge, now that the Appointed Person has dismissed their appeal.

The couple describe feeling "fthreatened, bullied and forced to defend our authentic local brand", they said they were heartened at the outcome. They said: "There are thousands of kindred Loch Ness Spirits who have backed us the whole way through."

The couple added: "We are looking forward to continuing to craft our spirits at our home on the banks of Loch Ness, giving them the provenance that they rightly deserve.”

Given the high value that others appear to have put on the iconic name Loch Ness, we want to ask the local community if they feel the same.

If so, we would suggest that there should be explorations about geographical protection for the region or some other way to ensure the name Loch Ness remains legally connected to the locality.

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