In the recent past we have seen trade mark violation done with impunity by small time traders and manufacturers, take for example the case of Pepsi candy, Peepsi Footwear, Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC) game cards or Kelvinator air-coolers. And the latest victim to this has the popular Hindi news channel Aaj Tak.
The Hindi news channel Aaj Tak has to now deal with unfamiliar companies using its proprietary trademark name and logo to hawk newspapers, supari and even chocolate. This is the first time in India that a channel's name is being used to promote other products.
The supari, manufactured by Sangam Perfumers, was found in the Delhi market, while the chocolate was spotted in Lucknow.
The Delhi High Court last week passed an order restraining a Mumbai newspaper from using the trade name/logo `Aaj Tak' in its publication Khabrien Aaj Tak. According to Mr G. Krishnan, Executive Director, TV Today, action would be taken against all such violation cases.
Aaj Tak had issued an advertisement claiming to be the sole proprietor of the trademark and warning of legal action if this was misused for trade in any goods including television programmes, magazines, periodicals, newspapers, consumer goods or any other product.
According to marketing analysts, infringement of trademarks and logos is rampant, especially in the rural markets. "And Aaj Tak is extremely popular in the Hindi-speaking belt of North India. Therefore products like supari or cheap chocolates are using the channel's brand equity," they said.
Brand building is an expensive exercise and companies, which do not want to spend money resort to such practices, said industry sources.
According to a senior media planner, smart local entrepreneurs thrive on intimate knowledge of the rural psyche. These people take advantage of the fact that most brand recognition in the interior parts of the country is mainly visual or aural.
Source: Business Line