Gutka maker wins trademark dispute

CHENNAI: When a Rajasthan-based gutka and pan masala maker expanded to UP and Delhi, he found violations of his trademark ‘Mama’. The petition of Rajan Jhiriwal, owner of ‘Mama’ brand ghutka, seeking to withdraw a rival brand’s trademark was upheld by the Intellectual Property Appellate Board ( IPAB) in Chennai recently.

Justice S Usha and technical member V Ravi, in their recent order, asked the trademark registrar to withdraw the ‘Mamaji’ mark issued to Yogesh Kumar Aggarwal of Rajasthan.

‘Mama’ brand is an old trademark, argued the counsel for Jhiriwal. “The sale of gutka in indigenous form (mewa) based on traditional knowledge under the trademark ‘Mama’ was first started by Kamal Jhiriwal since 1983,” said the order. The elder Jhiriwal, the father of Rajan Jhiriwal, started his business in a small way. He used to assist his sister’s husband at his pan shop. “Kamal Jhiriwal was known as ‘mama’ by children of his sister and his friends also called him ‘mama’,” said the order. Soon, the entire town of Alwar in Rajasthan came to know of him by the name. So when he set up his own pan shop, he named it ‘mama’.

“Due to its blend and flavour, followed with the hygienic standard and packing the prepared pan and gutka under ‘Mama’, it became the talk of the town,” said the order. Rajan, who inherited the business, started marketing his product in New Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana in 2000. Soon, he noticed that his trademark was violated by the makers of Mamaji Tambaku and approached the courts and the tribunal.

As the owners of Mamaji couldn’t prove that the have been using the trademark before the owners of Mama did, the tribunal came to the conclusion that Rajan Jhiriwal’s claim is right and ordered the registrar to remove the Mamaji trademark.
Source : Times Of India