Amul trademark to get global shield

NEW DELHI  ————————————————

NEW DELHI: Amul is joining the league of global brands such as Coca-Cola, Kodak, Wimbledonand Viagra to get a "well-known" trademark, ensuring unparalleled protection not just in India but across the world. The step taken by the government will ensure that the brand name is not used anywhere or for any product. 

"It will have an impact on cross-border reputation and it will ensure that no one will be able to get registration for Amul in other categories too," said R S Sodhi, managing director of Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation, which owns the Amul brand. 

Barring a few such as PepsiCo and Telco, sources in the government said, the 62 other cases where well-known trademarks have been granted in India were done through courts after companies sought action in infringement cases. 

The Indian list includes Bata, Bajaj, Bisleri, Nirma and Infosys, among the homegrown brands, while global players such as Cartier, Dunhill, Playboy, Mars and Yahoo have received well-known trademarks. 

Indian as well as international laws provide for well-known brands as a special category, while some even make a distinction with famous brands. "The well-known trademarks enjoy tremendous protection. They are essentially not distinguishable and have been given protection because they have become really well-known. The protection is available even if something is not sold in India. So a similar treatment will be available for Amul or other 62 on the list," said an officer. 

In the past, a company which was launching a brand of Benz underwear in India was restrained from doing so by a court as Daimler Benz holds the "reputation worldwide". In case of Amul, the Indian trademark registry showed that products as diverse as hosiery, diesel engine component, oil, chemicals and paints use 'Amul'.

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