The Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) declared on June 10 that it had obtained trademark registrations for the brand name 'Khadi' in three more countries –Bhutan, Mexico, and UAE. This is a major step towards establishing the brand identity of Khadi globally.
KVIC secured the latest trademark in Bhutan on July 9. The country to grant its trademark before that was UAE on 28th June. Securing a trademark in UAE is particularly noteworthy, as this was the first time KVIC was securing a trademark in a Gulf country. Mexico granted the trademark to KVIC in December 2020.
Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) said in a statement, "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," reported Live Mint.
Trademark Applications From Other Countries
KVIC has also sent applications for the trademark in several other countries around the world. These include Australia, Brazil, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Qatar, Singapore, Sri Lanka, USA. In 40 of these countries, KVIC's applications are pending.
Earlier, the KVIC had secured a trademark for the word 'Khadi' in six countries: Australia, China, EU, Germany, Russia, UK. With Bhutan, Mexico, and UAE, the number of such countries has gone up to nine. In these countries, KVIC registered the trademark in certain classes like Khadi fabric, Khadi readymade garments and village industry products like Khadi cosmetics or Khadi incense.
Significance Of Trademark Registration
KVIC Chairman Shri Vinai Kumar Saxena said that the trademark registrations would stop any misuse of the brand name "Khadi" worldwide. He further noted that in the last few years, the popularity of Khadi in and outside India had grown massively, owing to PM Modi's appeal to adopt Khadi. Thus, it has become crucial for KVIC to safeguard Khadi's identity and the interest of consumers along with lakhs of Khadi artisans who are manufacturing genuine Khadi products.
Private Entities Sending Trademark Applications for Khadi
There had already been several private local brands in Germany and Mexico requesting trademark registration for the brand name 'Khadi' in their countries. In Mexico, KVIC opposed the trademark application of "One Foundation Oaxaca Ac". However, the firm — which had applied for Khadi's logo — did not challenge Khadi's objections. Finally, a trademark for the word 'Khadi' and the brand's logo was granted to KVIC.
In 2011, a local company in Germany called Best Natural Products GmbH (BNP) obtained the rights in the mark 'KHADI'. According to the Ministry of External Affairs, Khadi challenged the trademark rights. After a lengthy legal battle and negotiations through Diplomacy, BNP expressed its desire to settle the trademark disputes with KVIC amicably.