The victory marks the decision by five Australian Federal Court Judges to find in favour of an appeal by the Wild Geese Irish Whiskey concerning the non-use of trade marks by Wild Turkey. The appeal relates to the last attempt by Pernod Ricard, then owners of Wild Turkey, to prevent the Wild Geese Irish Whiskey from market entry into the Irish Whiskey Category.
|Wild Geese Irish Whiskey to launch in Australia following trademark court ruling|
The action, initiated by Pernod Ricard in 2002 and then taken up by Campari when Wild Turkey was sold, sought to secure the 'Wild Geese' trademark in Australia and prevented Wild Geese Irish Whiskey from trading in a key Irish Whiskey market.
The appeal also revealed that while the 'Wild Geese' trademark had been used by Wild Turkey between 2007 and 2010, it was done so incorrectly.
Commenting on the news, Ándre Levy, Co-Founder and Chairman of The Wild Geese Irish Whiskey, said: "This is an important day for us and the Irish Whiskey industry as a whole. The Wild Geese Irish Whiskey 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. This includes the USA where The Wild Geese is sold as The Wild Geese Soldiers & Heroes. These actions sought to limit the market access of the Wild Geese Irish Whiskey and other smaller independent brands of which we are a representative. Despite the supposed renaissance of Irish Whiskey, the reality is that the industry is still dominated by large organisations such as Pernod Ricard."
He went on to say: "We continue to fight for our right to contribute to the Irish whiskey category which we have been a part of since 1999. Therefore, to ensure our continued growth and success, we have been forced to buy Irish whiskey at a premium from third parties who have been able to access whiskey that we are unable to purchase directly from large producers. Big company tactics are designed to remove competition. We epitomise the spirit of The Wild Geese; it's not just an abstract - something that big company may wish to reflect upon."
Such was the strength of the appeal that the five presiding judges unanimously found for The Wild Geese and awarded indemnity costs.
Posted by Steve Rush