Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) has issued legal notices to two firms – Khadi Essentials and Khadi Global – stating that they are “unauthorizedly” and “fraudulently” using the brand name “Khadi”. KVIC in a statement has said today that the two firms are engaged in selling a range of cosmetic and beauty products through various e-commerce platforms using the brand name “Khadi” and thus misleading consumers.
In the notices served to Khadi Essentials and Khadi Global in the first week of August, KVIC has asked them to immediately stop selling or promoting its products using the brand name “Khadi” while also cancelling the domain names www.khadiessentials.com and www.khadiglobalstore.com respectively. The two firms have also been told to discontinue their social media handles on various platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.
“The adoption of your mark is being used to sell products online...clearly the adoption of your mark is in bad faith and is aimed at misappropriating the goodwill and reputation of Khadi trademark. Apart from Khadi India, the trademark “Khadi” can only be used by authorized licensee or franchisee holders,” the notices read. “The use of a mark which completely subsumes KVIC’s trademark for identical goods will undoubtedly lead to confusion and deception in the market. Use of your mark amounts to misuse and misrepresentation of “Khadi” trademark,” it further said.
The two firms have strictly been told to immediately stop selling products using the brand name of “Khadi” and destroy all product packaging, labels, publicity material, signboards and any other business stationary using the brand names Khadi Essentials and Khadi Global respectively. KVIC has said that failing to comply with the instructions in seven days, legal action will be initiated against the firms.
KVIC Chairman, Shri Vinai Kumar Saxena said any misuse of the brand name “Khadi” has a direct bearing on the livelihood of our artisans who are making genuine handcrafted products in remote parts of India. “KVIC will take stern action against any individual or firm misusing the brand name Khadi. This is to safeguard the interest of Khadi artisans and prevent the sale of any spurious product in the name of Khadi,” Saxena said.
KVIC has said that in the last few years it has acted tough against any misuse of its brand name “Khadi India” and infringement into its trademark. So far KVIC has issued legal notices to over 1000 private firms including Fabindia for misusing its brand name and selling products under the name of Khadi. KVIC has sought damages to the tune of Rs 500 crore from Fabindia which is pending before the Mumbai High Court.
KVIC has also sought damages from these firms for causing harm to its reputation and loss of wages to Khadi artisans due to sale of fake Khadi fabric. However, after legal notices were served, a majority of firms have apologized to KVIC and withdrawn their products, advertisements fraudulently using Khadi’s name.
On July 27, KVIC filed a complaint for FIR against a Chandigarh-based person for unauthorizedly selling face masks dubbing them as Khadi Face Masks and also using the Prime Minister’s photograph on the packets. Earlier, in May this year, 3 Delhi-based firms were issued legal notices by KVIC for selling fake PPE kits under the brand name of Khadi.