India finally realizes the importance of Khadi

5We brought to your notice in our earlier post dated November 8 about India’s determination to protect brand ‘Khadi’. Pursuant to this, the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) has applied for registration of the trademark in India.

Following this, application will also be filed under the Madrid Protocol for international registration. The mark ‘Khadi’ has hitherto not been registered in India. An attempt was made to register it in the year 2000 in class 24 but the application was subsequently withdrawn. However, other related marks like ‘Khadi Gramodyog’ are registered.

Term “Khadi” and “Khaddar” are already recognized as a trade description for woven fabric since 1950, and protection has been afforded to these two terms under a special legislation namely Khaddar (Protection of Name) Act, 1950.

The issue of registration of Khadi gained importance when the members of Indian Embassies in Germany, Poland, Belgium, Luxembourg and the European Union reported that the traders and merchant exporters are not able to market ‘Khadi’ products in Germany and the European Union because said mark was already registered in the name of a German Company. A German company, Khadi Natureprodukte, has registered the trademark ‘Khadi’, with the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market, giving it exclusive rights for use of the term. The only way forward is to cancel registration of Khadi as a trademark of the German company via a request for declaration of invalidity of registration. An application for de-registration of trademark ‘Khadi’ has already been filed with requisite fees by Swati Gramodyog Sewa Sansthan, Kanpur, which has been authorised by KVIC to do so. Now the Government, KVIC and Indian Embassies are trying their best to expedite the process.