The Scotch Whisky Association is now recognised and protected as a ‘Geographical Indication’ in the 17 member states of the African Intellectual Property Organisation- OAPI.
The status granting ceremony held on 9th of September at the head office of the African Intellectual Property Organisation (OAPI) in Yaoundé and was presided over by the General Manager of OAPI, Dr. Paulin EDOU EDOU. Present at the event was a team from the British High Commission in Yaoundé led by H.E. Brian Olley, British High Commissioner to Cameroon. Also in attendance was a delegation from NGWAFOR & Partners, locally led by Prof. NGWAFOR Ephraim, representing SPOOR & FISHER , the intellectual property attorneys of the Scotch Whisky Association.
According to the Scotch Whisky Association, “this Geographical Indication status means protection in 17 countries; over 1/5 of the geographical area of Africa and plus 140m people”.
British High Commissioner to Cameroon, H.E. Brian Olley , said at the ceremony on 9 September in Yaoundé “this is a historic moment and a practical step forward in providing protection to guard against improper use of the name Scotch Whisky. From now on the consumers of Scotch Whisky bought in any of the 17 member countries of the OAPI can be better assured of the quality and authenticity of the product they are buying. It will also be easier to take effective legal action against those who try to defraud. I am delighted that the British High Commission has been able to play a part in contributing to this important progress in protecting consumers in Africa.”
The ‘Geographical Indication’ status will also protect consumers from being misled by other adulterated brands.