Whisky producer faces lawsuit in America over trademark infringement allegation

A whisky producer is being sued by an American firm which claims the Scottish company has infringed its trademark.

A lawsuit brought against Highland Park claims the expression “bears a similar design and overall appearance” to its own labels, BBC Scotland reports.

Joseph A. Magnus & Co filed a lawsuit in Washington DC claiming that Highland Distillers lacks the right to use the mark “Magnus” on a whisky it sells in the US.

The lawsuit claims that both Joseph A. Magnus’s spirits and the Highland Park bottle that is the subject of the suit feature “a solid black label with stylised white writing and design”.

The American firm also accuses Edrington Group-owned Highland Park of “false designation of origin and unfair competition”.

It also argues it has used the “Magnus-formative marks” in respect of its distilled spirits in the US since 2015 – two years before Highland Distillers began using the “Magnus” expression.

Joseph A. Magnus & Co seeks an injunction preventing the Scotch whisky firm from using the mark, in addition to damages.

A spokesman for Highland Park said: “We’re aware that a claim has been made in the US and the matter has been passed to our lawyers for review.”