An Indian court has sided with the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) over the use of the words "Scot" and "Scotch" to sell Indian whisky.

In compliance with World Trade Organisation rules, The Delhi High Court ruled that the words "Scot" and "Scotch" could not be used by Indian manufacturers to promote or market their products.

The ruling came from a lawsuit filed by the SWA which sought to stop the Indian drinks producer Golden Bottling Limited from using the name "Red Scot" to sell its whisky.

Speaking to just-drinks, a spokesman for the SWA said: "Scotch whisky by law must be produced in Scotland and is protected as a geographical indication under WTO rules.  Protecting the reputation of Scotch whisky from all forms of unfair competition is therefore a top industry priority.

"In this case, use of the word "Scot" on the bottle label was an attempt to mislead consumers into thinking they were buying Scotch whisky rather than locally-produced spirit.  The SWA welcomes the judgement of the Delhi High Court, which will help to protect consumers and Scotch whisky from unfair competition in India."
 
At any one time around the world, the SWA said it could be involved in 50 legal actions to protect Scotch whisky.