IPAB rejects the claim of “Haldiram Bhujiwala” logo claimed by Kolkata based Company.
The Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) has ordered the Register of Trademark to cancel the v-shaped trademark of “Haldiram Bhujiwala”, a Kolkata based company. The farm manufactures the north Indian sweets and snacks and sells it through different outlets using the v-shaped logo in the packets. The order was the outcome of a petition filed by a Delhi based Company Haldiram (India) Pvt. Ltd. The order will end a long-term family dispute claiming the ownership of the name “Haldiram Bhujiawala” and its v-shaped logo.
To understand the merit of the case, you have to go through the historical background of the family feud. Ganga Bishan, the founder of the said company was manufacturing and selling sweets, salted snacks and papad and other similar type of food products since 1942. He established and registered the Company at Delhi. He conceived the idea of the trademark as represented in a V-shaped logo from the very beginning. Haldiram was the nickname of Ganga Bishan. He was granted the trademark of the logo on 29th December 1972 vide application no. 285062 made with the Registrar of Trade Marks, New Delhi for grant of registration of the trademark. In 1956, Mr. Rameshwar Lal and Mr. Moolchand, the sons of Ganga Bishan joined the company and became partners. Rameshwar Lal retired from the company in 1958 and shifted at Kolkata.
Rameshwar started the same type of business in Kolkata. He requested his father granting him permission for using v-shaped logo for his products. His father permitted him to use the logo within Kolkata jurisdiction only.
The company “Haldiram Bhujiwala” was dissolved in 1974. Moolchand acquired the exclusive rights of the logo throughout the country excluding West Bengal. Mrs. Kamala Devi, wife of Rameshwar Lal, was permitted to do the business only in West Bengal jurisdiction. In 1977, Rameshwar Lal and his son Prabhushankar Agarwal filed an application for registration of “Haldiram Bhujiwala” trademark which they were using since 1958. They were granted the trademark no. 330375 that was identical to the previous trademark no. 285062. The incident called in question the validity of the original trademark granted to Late Ganga Bishan.
Legal heirs of Moolchand challenged the registration of the trademark no. 330375 in IPAB.
The advocates of M/s. Haldiram (India) Private Limited contended that registration of the above trademark was made by a false claim of proprietorship since 1958 made by the respondents. The respondent, Rameshwar Lal was one of the partners of “Haldiram Bhujiwala”. Therefore, he was very much acquainted with the v-shaped trademark of the company. It is a deliberate attempt of suppression and non-disclosure of facts for personal financial gains.
However, Rameshwar Lal and his son refuted the allegation mentioning that they were using the v-shaped logo since 1958; they are the rightful owner of the logo. They also contended that the said logo had become popular throughout India due to their extensive, continuous and uninterrupted effort. Therefore, they have applied for the registration of the said trademark under no. 330375.
Ms. S. Usha, Vice-Chairman and V. Ravi, Technical Member of the Board, dismissed the contentions of the respondents. They said that the respondents could not produce the sufficient evidence in favor of claiming the ownership of the said trademark.
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