Legal ruling

Tomatin developer claims ‘David and Goliath’ victory

Tomatin hotel
Tomatin Trading Company wants to build a hotel near the distillery

The developer behind a £12m visitor attraction near Inverness has won a long-running battle with a distillery over use of a village name.

A legal ruling in favour of the Tomatin Trading Company means it will now go ahead with raising finance for a hotel, restaurant and farm shop on the A9 at Tomatin junction.

Objections to the plan were raised in the Court of Session by the Tomatin Distillery, owned by the Japanese drinks conglomerate Takara Shuzo, which failed in its appeal that the development infringed its trade mark.

The Appeal Judges endorsed a decision by Lady Woolfe last year and said that there was no warrant for Tomatin Distillery – described as producing a niche brand in a niche market – to have a monopoly on the use of the word Tomatin for non-whisky products.

A spokesperson for Tomatin Trading Company said: “We look forward to putting this case firmly behind us, and can now finish off our financial structuring with real confidence,  getting down to the very important business of actually starting – and delivering – this important new development for the Tomatin – and wider Highlands – areas.

“This whole legal action, brought by Tomatin Distillery, was absolutely unnecessary from day one, especially as The Tomatin Trading Company had tried to find reasonable compromise.

“It has been an extremely long and hard three years that this has hung over William Frame and his family, causing unnecessary stress, anxiety, cost and uncertainty.

“The case has been fought without the reserves of a large company, but in this case The Tomatin Trading Company thinks that it can finally say that integrity has ultimately won, and that David has defeated Goliath.

“William wishes to thank all those who have supported him in this difficult journey, which has had many dark moments. Special mention goes to his legal team at MacRoberts – Julie Hamilton, Euan Duncan & Lynsay Cargill, together with Advocates Usman Tariq and Kenny Mcbrearty.”



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