By Andrew Starke

The Australian Trade Marks Office has concluded that the liquor industry and consumers can tell the difference between turkeys and geese, even when these are said to be ‘wild’.

However, while Wild Geese whiskey will be allowed to go beak to beak with Wild Turkey bourbon for brown spirits market share, it has been warned not to venture into the wine industry where Wild Turkey recently acquired South Australian winemaker Wild Geese Wines.

Both entities filed removal applications against Wild Geese whiskey, with Austin Nichols owned Wild Turkey appealing against an earlier decision.

In rejecting Wild Turkey’s application, Australian Trade Marks Office hearing officer, Terry Williams, said he was ‘not remotely satisfied’ that the two trade marks would be seen or recalled by relevant Australian consumers as simply ‘wild game birds’.

“There is no evidence at all that either sort of bird is ordinarily seen, or likely to be seen, in this country, as a game bird,” he said. “Geese and, in particular, turkeys, in Australia, are perhaps less common than in the United States. While there are native forms of both birds, I think the differences between the two would be well understood and recognised.”

With regard to Wild Geese Wine’s application, Williams concluded that brand owner Lodestar Anstalt has a legitimate business in its Wild Geese whisky, has sold the product in a range of countries around the world and made legitimate attempts to sell its Wild Geese product in Australia through the appointment of a local sales representative.

Wild Geese whisky will now be allowed to use its trademark on all alcoholic beverage products except “wine, fortified wine and wine-based spirits, namely brandy, grappa and cognac” – liquor sectors it has shown no sign of wishing to enter.

According to the Wild Geese website, the whiskey takes its name from those Irish soldiers who served in various European armies during the 17th and 18th centuries after refusing to fight under William the Usurper.

“Na Geanna Flaine” or “the Wild Geese”, as the Irish brigade were known, drew notoriety for their skill in battle and devotion to various European monarchs, particularly in France and Spain.

Wild Geese claim its Irish whiskey celebrates the spirit of these soldiers.

For the full Australian Trade Marks Office verdict, click here.

To comment, click here.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *