In a legal notice sent to ethnic wear chain Fabindia, Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) has sought Rs 525 crore in damages for "illegally" using its trademark "charkha" and also selling clothes with the trademark 'khadi' tag. The KVIC asked the company "to cease and desist immediately and forthwith from displaying charkha or using selling products bearing the charkha or khadi mark.
In a legal notice sent to ethnic wear chain Fabindia, Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) has sought Rs 525 crore in damages for “illegally” using its trademark “charkha” and also selling clothes with ‘khadi’ tag. The KVIC asked the company “to cease and desist immediately and forthwith from displaying charkha or using selling products bearing the charkha or khadi mark or any similar mark on goods and use/ sell products bearing the word/ mark khadi or any similar mark whatsoever or howsoever related to khadi,” PTI reported. In addition, KVIC has warned of launching legal proceedings against Fab India Overseas Pvt Ltd if it does not desist from displaying the trademark similar to its own, PTI report added.
KVIC has also sought an “unconditional apology” and a written undertaking from Fab India that it will not deal in any khadi or related products bearing khadi trademark, the PTI report said. “The claims made in the notice are baseless. The notice has been entrusted to our lawyers, and any action taken in pursuance of the notice will be defended by us vigorously,” PTI cited Fabindia spokesman saying. The KVIC’s lawyer said in the legal notice that in July 2015, it was noticed that the company was “illegally” using the khadi mark tag and selling products bearing the trademark which was “identical” and “deceptively similar” to KVIC’s registered trademark. The legal notice was issued to FabIndia Overseas Private Limited on January 29 by law firm Kochhar & Company.
Fabindia is a private platform for products that are made from traditional techniques, skills and hand-based processes. “The products offered under the impugned mark KHADI and the khadi mark tag were not even geniune khadi garments. You (Fab India) were selling factory-made cotton garments as khadi, whereas khadi is handspun and handwoven, and thereby misleading the consumers,” the notice said. The KVIC notice said it caused “irreparable loss, harm and damage to the goodwill” associated with the khadi trademark and also loss to the artisans.
The Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) is a statutory body established by an Act of Parliament (No. 61 of 1956, as amended by act no. 12 of 1987 and Act No.10 of 2006. In April 1957, it took over the work of former All India Khadi and Village Industries Board.
With PTI inputs