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Protecting Scotch Whisky

It is said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.  We disagree. 

The popularity of Scotch Whisky means that there are many people who want to take advantage of that by selling fake Scotch or trading unfairly on its reputation. Imitations threaten the integrity of Scotch Whisky and the reputation it has built up over many years.  It also undermines consumer confidence in genuine Scotch Whisky. 

Legal Protection in the UK

Protecting Scotch Whisky from unfair competition is therefore one of our top priorities. Strong legal protection forms the solid foundation on which the industry’s success is built.

Protecting Scotch Whisky outside the UK

As a registered "Geographical Indication" (GI) in many overseas markets including the EU, Scotch Whisky is protected from misuse, imitation, evocation and any other practice liable to mislead consumers.

Help us protect Scotch Whisky

Take a look a our guide on how to spot fake Scotch Whisky, and how to report it to the SWA Legal team

Q&A: Scotch Whisky Cask Specification

The legal requirements for Scotch Whisky have been be amended to broaden the casks allowed for maturation. Here we answer your questions.

news & commentary

22 April 2024

SWA legal team toasts success in South Korea

In the first such case to use Scotch Whisky’s South Korean certification trade mark, which was granted in 2019, the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) has successfully stopped the sale of fake Scotch Whisky which misleads consumers and damages legitimate trade.

25 April 2022

Joint statement with Macaloney Brewer & Distillers Ltd

A joint statement with Macaloney Brewer & Distillers Ltd

20 January 2022

Decision over Glen Buchenbach upheld by appeal court

The SWA has won the legal case against the use of 'Glen' in Germany.

20 November 2020

Scotch Whisky is registered as a GI in Laos

Scotch Whisky has officially been registered as a Geographical Indication in Laos

29 August 2019

Scotch Whisky Association and Virginia Distillery Company reach resolution on whisky labelling case

The SWA and Virginia Distillery Company have reached a resolution on the labelling of products as 'Highland' whisky.

15 June 2019

Scotch Whisky Technical File Amended

Following a public consultation, the amendment to the Scotch Whisky Technical File gives specific guidance on the range of casks which can be used to mature or finish Scotch Whisky.

31 May 2019

SWA legal team wins 'Team of the Year' award

The SWA has been recognised for its work to protect Scotch Whisky at an awards ceremony in Boston.

07 February 2019

SWA Comments on Glen Buchenbach case

Our case against Glen Buchenbach presented clear and compelling evidence to the court that 'Glen' is strongly associated with Scotland and Scotch Whisky, and the only reason to use 'Glen' for a German whisky is because of its undoubted association with Scotch Whisky.

29 November 2018

SWA secures GI protection for Scotch Whisky in Indonesia

Scotland's national drink has secured enhanced legal protection in Indonesia after the Scotch Whisky Association's application to register "Scotch Whisky" as a Geographical Indication (GI) was successful.


19 June 2020

Thinking of investing in Scotch Whisky?

The SWA has produced guidance for consumers of what to consider when investing in a cask of Scotch Whisky.

31 January 2019

Scotch Whisky Regulations 2009: Guidance for Producers and Bottlers

The following guidance is aimed at assisting those producing and selling Scotch Whisky, and those designing labels, packaging and advertising, to comply with the 2009 Scotch Whisky Regulations.