A commercial court in Vadodara granted a major victory to Amul, in a 20-year-old legal battle over its trademark that was going on with an Ahmedabad-based private diary.
The court has restrained the private-dairy from selling pouched milk under the brand names of ‘Anul Taaza’ and ‘Anul Shakti’ as it is infringing the trademark held by Amul.
In 1998, the Kaira District Cooperative Milk Producers Union Limited, popularly known as Amul Dairy and the Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation Limited (GCMMF) – the apex marketing body of all district dairy unions of Gujarat that markets brand Amul, had noticed that Naroda-based Shri Shakti Dairy was manufacturing milk pouches under brand names that were rhyming with its own brands ‘Amul Shakti’ and ‘Amul Taaza’ which was marketed by a firm called Kuldeep Enterprises.
A legal notice was then sent to the defendants, in response to which they said that the names are phonetically different and there is no chance of confusion. Moreover, the plaintiff has no monopoly right on the said label and trademark.
As the dairy and the marketing firm continued selling pouches with the similar brand names, Amul had moved the court against them.
Amul Dairy argued that the layout and the colour scheme of the pouches in which Shri Shakti Dairy packed the milk were also similar to its pouches.
“As the private dairy was selling its pouches in rural areas, it confused the consumers in these pockets,” said advocate Jaideep Verma, who appeared for GCMMF.
The court after hearing both the parties passed the judgment restraining the Ahmedabad-based dairy and its marketing firm along with their agents, dealers, and distributors from manufacturing, processing, marketing and packing milk under their labels, committing infringement of Amul’s trademarks and reproducing or copying its labels.