In a 20-year-long legal battle, an Ahmedabad-based private diary has been stopped from selling pouched milk under the brand names of ‘Anul
Taaza’ and ‘Anul Shakti’ by a commercial court in Vadodara. It was in 1998 Amul
Dairy and the Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation Limited (GCMMF
) – the apex marketing body of all district dairy unions of Gujarat noticed that Shri Shakti Dairy was manufacturing milk pouches under brand names that were rhyming with its own brands ‘Amul Shakti’ and ‘Amul Taaza’.
Amul had initially sent a legal notice to Shri Shakti Dairy as well as Kuldeep Enterprises, who was marketing ‘Anul Shakti’ and ‘Anul Taaza’. In response to it, came that the names are phonetically different, and there is no chance of any confusion. Amul further accused it of copying its pouche’s colour scheme. The dairy and the marketing firm continued to sell their products with the similar brand names over the years. It was then that Amul had moved to the district court in Nadiad against them, the case was finally transferred to Vadodara where a new commercial court was established.
The advocate who appeared for GCMMF highlighted that since the pouches were being sold in rural markets mainly, it confused the consumers in these areas. Reportedly, the court finally passed a judgement
last week restraining Shri Shakti Dairy and its marketing firm along with their agents, dealers and distributors from manufacturing, processing, marketing and packing milk under their labels.
Amul had sued ‘Amul Chasmaghar’ and ‘Amul Cut Piece Stores’ in 2007 for Trademark Infringement
Utterly Butterly Amul’s name cannot be used by any other proprietor even if the company is selling goods other than that sold by the proprietor, who has registered the trademark. In a significant judgment, the Gujarat High Court has ruled that a registered trademark user has the right to restrict others using their trademark for different class or goods.
HC’s judgment was in connection with a case where the Kaira District Co-operative Milk Producers’ Union popularly Amul Dairy and the Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF) had filed trademark infringement cases against two local shop owners, Amul Chasmaghar and Amul Cut Piece Stores in the district court. While Kaira Union owns brand Amul, GCMMF manages the brand.
It was a clear case of infringement and restrained the two from using Amul trademark. Justice Patel while upholding the district court’s ruling stated the order passed by the trial court was true, correct, legal and in consonance with the facts of the case as well as in accordance with the provisions of the Trademarks Act 1999.