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Outlander’s Sam Heughan in legal battle with German distillery over name of his whisky brand

Sam Heughan at the "Bloodshot" Premiere at the Village Theater on March 10, 2020 in Westwood, CA
Sam Heughan is locked in a legal battle over the name of his whisky brand. Pic credit: ©ImageCollect.com/Carrie-nelson

Sam Heughan, who plays Jamie in Starz’s hit historical drama series, Outlander, is locked in a legal battle over his whisky brand.

German distillery Sasse believes that Heughan’s whisky brand, The Sassenach, is too familiar-sounding in name to their own and has started legal proceedings to prevent sales of the product in Europe. Their claim is that the term is not a popular one and will cause confusion among the brands.

Already, the European Union Intellectual Property Office has deemed that the name is too similar, particularly when being used in noisy bars and clubs. However, Heughan, 40, plans to contest this point later in the year.

His claim is that is it will cause no confusion to clients as the term used for the name of his whisky is easily identifiable due to the popularity of Outlander.

“We deny it is that popular. The word is also not well known, originating from Gaelic, spoken by very few Scots,” Sasse lawyers said, according to The Sun.

Heughan, on the other hand, claims that Outlander has enjoyed “a great popularity in Germany on Netflix and free TV channel Vox,” indicating that it is a popular term that will not cause confusion.

Why is Sam Heughan’s whisky called The Sassenach?

Fans of Outlander will know the answer to this question already. In the TV series, Jamie uses this as a term of endearment for his wife, Claire (Caitriona Balfe).

According to a Google translation, the word means “an English person.” In the series, it relates more to meaning “foreigner.” However, over time, Jamie has gone from using this term as a description of Claire’s foreign identity and to become more of a term of affection.

Sassenach is, in fact, a Scottish word, as stated by Sasse’s lawyers. However, among fans of Outlander, the term has become synonymous with Jamie and Claire. In fact, there is plenty of merchandise that displays this term and is readily snapped up by those who have either watched the TV series or read the books by Diana Gabaldon on which it is based.

When will Season 6 of Outlander premiere?

While lawyers will battle it out over the European use of the term, fans of the TV series are more interested in when the next season of Outlander will hit the small screen. As previously reported, filming has just begun on Season 6.

With the current coronavirus pandemic, the filming schedule has certainly been thrown into disarray. Not only has production been delayed, but there has been some concern as to how the intimate scenes fans have come to expect in Outlander will be filmed.

However, the series producer, Matthew B. Roberts, has assured fans that they will not miss out on any Claire and Jamie action when the series does eventually return.

As of yet, there is no news when the next installment will be released. This means that viewers will just have to be patient for a while longer until Starz makes an official announcement.

Season 6 of Outlander will air on the Starz network at a later date.

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