Trademarks have always been a cause for concern amongst corporations and start-up companies alike. Recent news swept the trademark industry in India when a district court in New Delhi dismissed a violation case filed by IKEA against Bengalaru-based consulting company Aikya Global.
IKEA is a well known multinational company and one of the world’s largest home retailer, producing ready-to-assemble furniture and kitchen appliances. Aikya Global, on the other hand, is a growing private consulting and service organisation that partners with businesses from all over the world.
The case involved a suit that accused Aikya Global of allegedly coming up with a brand name with phonetic resemblance to that of the Swedish retailer. Although there were scarce statements from both parties, the lawsuit was a controversial case in India.
Boiling Trademark Concerns
This was not the first time IKEA made headlines regarding trademark issues.
Back in 2013, IKEA took legal action over more than a handful of Indian companies, which included human resources firm Ikya Human Capital Solutions and the aforementioned Aikya Global. The multinational retailer was fearless in challenging the companies in court over trademark infringement, receiving ex parte injunction against them.
The allegation stated Aikya had ‘copied and imitated’ the retailer’s trademark and, according to the legal documents, the result was ‘deceptively similar’ to IKEA. While Aikya Global had initially surrendered to the lawsuit and amended their name to Ajira Global, the New Delhi court had taken back the injunction in June 2015 and ruled in favour of the local company.
IKEA sees the market in India as crucial to its growth and development, as does many other companies wishing to take advantage of the potential in India. A government approval for the largest foreign direct investment in single brand retailing was granted to the company, allowing them to set up 25 more large stores, each carrying thousands of furniture pieces. The estimate for the investment was around Rs 10,500 crore.
The Swedish retailer had plans to open its inaugural store in Hyderabad later in 2017, while another branch was in the works for Mumbai. The dismissal of the case comes at a critical time and could have some impact upon the agreed trade and investment deal between Ikea and the Indian government. However it may be the case that a resolution has already been agreed between the parties involved and that the court’s ruling is now a moot point.
The Importance of a Trademark
This incident is just one of many high profile trademark disputes and just goes to show that a trademark is more than just stamping your business with a branding iron. Whether you own a start-up company or a long-term venture, securing your trademark not only provides ownership of a brand but is one of the most effective and valuable marketing tools for businesses both in Australia and around the world.
If you have questions about the trade mark registration process or require professional assistance in pushing your trademark application forward, find out how Pinnacle TMS can help you. Visit Pinnacle TMS at pinnacletms.com.au to book a consultation. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call +61 2 9520 4366.