By Andy Young

The Wild Geese Irish Whiskey is eyeing a move into the Australian market after it won a trademark case against Campari.

The High Court ruled that Campari, which owns Wild Turkey, cannot use the Wild Geese trademarks in Australia and that when the Wild Geese name was used by Wild Turkey between 2007 and 2010 it had been used incorrectly.

The case was originally started in 2002 by Pernod Ricard and was taken over by Gruppo Campari when it bought the Wild Turkey brand in 2013. It centres on the Wild Geese trademark, which Pernod Ricard bought from Wild Geese Wines in Australia in 2007. The Irish whiskey brand argued that Pernod Ricard and Campari were securing the Wild Geese trademark in Australia as a non-use mark, to prevent The Wild Geese Irish Whiskey from trading in Australia.

In July this year, the Avalon Group, which owns The Wild Geese Irish Whiskey, won a Federal Court case and this High Court ruling rejects Campari's request to overturn that decision. This paves the way for The Wild Geese Irish Whiskey to enter the Australian market.

The whiskey's Co-Founder and Chairman, Ándre Levy, was understandably delighted to secure this latest win in what has been a long-running court battle.

“We are delighted that the High Court has effectively endorsed the original unanimous decision that grants us the basic right as a business to use our name," Levy said.

“This is just one part of a larger battle that we have been engaged in for the past 14 years that has included over 50 actions across several geographies.

“Originally initiated by Pernod Ricard, these actions have sought to limit the growth of an independent and competitive brand, thus stifling growth in the global Irish whiskey market. The consequences of these actions have been far reaching, to the extent that 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.”

A spokesperson for Campari Australia told TheShout: "As a general approach, Gruppo Campari does not comment on judicial matters."

The Shout Team

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

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