The five-star luxury hotel, Tata group’s Taj Mahal Palace in Mumbai, Maharashtra has been trademarked under the Trade Marks Act, 1999. In effect, this means that no individual entity can use its images for commercial purposes unless a licensing fee is paid, the Times of India reported. Located in Colaba, the Taj Mahal Palace generates Rs 2391 crore in the Indian Hotels Company (IHCL), the parent company’s total revenues. General counsel to the company, Rajendra Misra said that the move was to protect the distinct nature of the hotel, according to TOI. The hotel has seven floors and 560 rooms and is noted for its influential clientele from political leaders to important expatriates and public figures. A trademark is generally given to products in terms of logos or brand names so that no other business can use the said logo or name. The Taj Mahal Palace is the first building to be trademarked since the inception of the Act in India.
Other iconic buildings that have been trademarked are the Empire State Building in New York, the Eiffel Tower in Paris, and the Sydney Opera House. The image of the Empire state building was once used by a resident of New York as a logo for a beer bottle, for which he was dragged to court, the TOI report said. The Taj Mahal Palace hotel was opened in 1903, about 20 years before the Gateway of India in Mumbai. The 250-foot-high Florentine Gothic dome was designed by Indian engineers and architects Sitaram Khanderao Vaidya and D. N. Mirza. It was not always a hotel, during World War I, it was even used as a hospital.
In a horror happening, in 2008 terrorists attacked Mumbai with 10 Lashkar-e-Tiaba members carrying out bomb attacks and mass shootings in various locations that also included the Taj Palace. About six explosions rocked the hotel leading to the deaths of 31 people out of the 164 total casualties. Around 250 people were rescued by firefighters from the windows of the hotel. It became a key building by which the incident is remembered due to the intensity of the attacks.