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Battle over trademark

A single malt from a glen that’s not Scottish

Proof distilleryThe Scotch Whisky Association has been drawn into a trademark battle over a US distiller ‘s right to use the word “glen” in its products.

Proof Artisan Distillers in North Dakota has produced Glen Fargo, one of a new breed of single malts spreading across the country. It is the first whiskey made in Fargo since the era of Prohibition.

The SWA objected to the name, claiming it would confuse consumers who would think it was a Scotch, which can only be made in Scotland.

Just a week before a trademark deadline, the SWA filed a complaint to the US patent office.

However, Joel Kath, owner of the distillery, said Glen Fargo defines the area in eastern North Dakota.  His attorneys also argued that Fargo itself has no geographical reference in Scotland.

The Scotch Whisky Association has now dropped its complaint, with the caveat that the label must read Glen Fargo American Malt Whiskey.

Americans have entered the single malt market through numerous craft distilleries that have bloomed in recent years.

Glen Fargo is made from barley grown in North Dakota, which leads the nation in production of the crop.


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