India’s largest dairy brand, Amul, has been recently accorded trademark status by the Intellectual Property Appellate Board of Canada.
While speaking about the development, Amul CEO R S Sodhi tweeted, “Amul has well known Brand status all over World so no can use it in any product category. A win of 3.6 million farmers.”
Amul Dairy (also called Kaira District Cooperative Milk Producers Union Limited) had filed a case with the Federal Court of Canada over trademark infringement by a group called ‘Amul Canada.’ The fraudulent group is run by four individuals, namely, Chandu Das, Akash Ghosh, Mohit Rana, and one Patel.
The accused had created a LinkedIn page by the name of ‘Amul Canada’ and had listed themselves as employees of the company. The group blatantly copied the logo, and trademark of the Indian dairy brand. At the time of writing this article, three of the accused had deleted their Linkedin profiles. They had also not responded to the legal summons, forcing Amul’s lawyers to initiate an ex-partate motion for default judgement.
Amul Dairy contended that it had neither licensed nor authorised the group ‘Amul Canada’ to use its trademark and copyrights in any manner. The Federal Court of Canada barred the defendants from permanently infringing upon Amul’s trademark and and copyrights. The Court awarded CAD 10,000 as damages for actions contrary to Trademarks Act, CAD 5000 as damages for actions contrary to Copyrights Act and CAD 17,733 to be paid by defendants. In all, Amul Dairy received a total compensation of CAD 32,733 (₹19.59 lakhs). The brand was represented by S Majumdar and Co. in India while Riches Mckenzie & Herbert LLP represented the company in Canada.
It must be mentioned that Amul’s marketing arm, Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF) has been supplying Amul products to the US for the past 22 years. It has also been exporting dairy snacks, ice cream, and Amul Kool to Canada for the past 2 years. Amul is the 8 largest milk producer in the world, with an annual turnover of ₹40K crores.
While speaking about the matter, R S Sodhi said, “This was possible only because we were alert and provided the supporting documents substantiating our claims. With this, we hope such orders would deter counterfeiters, infringers, globally, before appropriating someone etse’s IPR which has been built with a lot of effort and eventually becomes an identifier for the company or even a nation.”