Whisky Maker Loses Legal Fight To Ban Rival’s ‘Green Choice’ Brand Name

HC rejects ‘Original Choice’ whisky maker’s petition against rival using ‘Green Choice’

The Karnataka High Court has rejected the objections raised against the approval given by the state Excise Commissioner to the use of the brand name ‘Green Choice’ by Empee Distilleries Ltd.

The petition challenging the approval was filed by John Distilleries Pvt Ltd, which manufactures the whisky brand ‘Original Choice.’ John Distilleries had claimed that the rival’s whisky brand was deceptively similar to its own brand, and also submitted objections to the Commissioner of Excise.

John Distilleries approached the HC claiming that the Commissioner issued approval to the rival on January 14, 2022, without providing it with the opportunity of a personal hearing.

Justice Jyoti Mulimani, who heard the petition, rejected the contention of John Distilleries that an oral hearing was absolutely necessary before the Commissioner had issued the approval order.

“The Excise Commissioner comprehensively dealt with the matter and has exercised the statutory power in the right perspective,” the court said.

The court said that there was no breach of rules of natural justice and the statutory power had been exercised properly by the Commissioner while giving approval.

The HC also refused to examine the allegation of infringement of trademark saying it was beyond its purview.

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