The Pink Lady of Stirling Castle is said to wander around the kirkyards of the historic site, pining for her lost love.

With a pink aura and smelling of sweet rose-blossom, legend goes that she was a young noblewoman who died of a broken heart when her lover was killed defending the castle during the English siege of 1304.

However, unfortunately for a small Scottish distillery who recently named a batch of gin after her, she also shares her name with a well-known global apple brand.

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Stirling Distillery launched its Pink Lady Gin in November but has since been threatened with legal action by the owners of the Pink Lady apple trade mark, Apple and Pear Australia Limited (APAL).

A letter sent on their behalf warns that APAL “does not tolerate use by a third party of their well-known PINK LADY brand for goods or services, in particular food and beverage products”.

The distillery has now decided to change the name to avoid the hefty legal cost of fighting their case, however the move will still cost the firm around £5000 to replace existing branding, labels and gift boxes.

In a statement, June and Cameron McCann, the owners of Stirling Gin, said: “We named our latest gin after a famous local legend.

“The pink lady was a beautiful young noblewoman betrothed to a brave Scottish knight who died defending Stirling castle against the English in the siege of 1304. Shortly after his death, the pink lady died of a broken heart.

“It is said that she can be seen wandering Stirling castle and the kirk tower in the dead of night, dressed in her elegant and distinct pink robes.

“It’s a shame we have been pressured to rebrand as our gin was based on local folklore.”

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The couple added that the gin - now named Stirling Pink Gin - had nothing to do with apples, but is instead inspired by the scent of rose-blossom which is said to follow the ghost.

The Herald: The gin has been renamed Stirling Pink GinThe gin has been renamed Stirling Pink Gin

“Pink Lady is a refreshing gin with 12 delicious botanicals including rose petals, pink peppercorns and pink grapefruit,” they said.

“It is delicately fragranced with juniper, spices and peppercorns. So not an apple in sight.”

The letter from APAL, which is in response to a UK trade mark application being made by Stirling Gin, demands that the company stop using the name “in any form”.

Trade mark specialist Meena Murrin, who heads up the trade mark department of Glasgow-based Cameron Intellectual Property, said that – on the face of it – APAL appeared to have a valid case.

She said: "Different products have different trade mark classifications, so in this case, apples would come under class 31, while gin would come under class 33, so you might think that there is no commercial conflict between the two.

“However, the Pink Lady trade mark appears to be registered in the UK in a range of classes, including in class 33 for cider and other alcoholic beverages. Because of that they appear to be within their rights to prevent identical or confusingly similar trade marks from being used or registered for those types of products.”

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Ms Murrin added that the case illustrates the importance of looking into trade mark issues and obtaining specialist clearance advice before pressing ahead with branding new products.

The Herald tried to contact APAL and the firm’s solicitors for comment.