New Delhi: Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) has recently secured trademark registrations in three countries – Bhutan, UAE and Mexico – a big stride towards protecting the identity of brand “Khadi” globally. Apart from these countries, KVIC’s trademark applications are pending in 40 countries across the world that include the USA, Qatar, Sri Lanka, Japan, Italy, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Brazil and others.
While KVIC obtained the latest trademark registration in Bhutan on 9th July; trademark registration was granted in UAE on 28th June. With this, KVIC has succeeded in securing trademark registration for the first time in a Gulf country. Earlier, KVIC got the trademark registration for “Khadi” in Mexico in December 2020.
So far KVIC was having Trademark registrations for the word mark “KHADI” in 6 countries namely Germany, UK, Australia, Russia, China and EU where trademark registrations were granted in certain classes. However, with recent trademark registrations in Bhutan, UAE and Mexico, the number of such countries has gone up to nine. In these countries, KVIC has got registrations in various classes that pertain to Khadi fabric, Khadi readymade garments and village industry products like Khadi soaps, Khadi cosmetics, Khadi incense sticks among others.
It is for the first time in the history of KVIC that sustained efforts have been made in the last 5 years to protect the brand “Khadi” which was given to us by none other than Mahatma Gandhi.
KVIC Chairman Shri Vinai Kumar Saxena said these trademark registrations will prevent any misuse of the brand name “Khadi” globally. He said in recent years, Khadi’s popularity has seen a massive growth in India and abroad due to Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s appeal to adopt Khadi. It has, therefore, become very important for KVIC to protect the identity of Khadi and safeguard the interest of consumers and lakhs of Khadi artisans who are manufacturing genuine Khadi products.
The development assumes great significance as there have been instances of some private local entities in countries like Mexico and Germany seeking trademark registration for brand name “Khadi” in their respective countries. In Mexico, KVIC challenged the trademark application of “One Foundation Oaxaca Ac” which had applied for the “Khadi” logo. However, the firm did not challenge KVIC’s objections and trademark registration for the word “Khadi” and “Khadi” logo was granted in favour of KVIC.
Similarly, in Germany, KVIC challenged a local company – Best Natural Products GmbH (“BNP”), which in 2011 already got prior rights in the mark “KHADI” and related marks in EU and other countries in different classes. After long legal battle and negotiations through the Diplomatic channel with the help of the Ministry of External Affairs, BNP has expressed its willingness to settle the trademark disputes amicably with KVIC.