Trademark Questions Arise in Indian Retail Knockoffs
A recent New York Times article on trademark battles in the Indian retail industry was particularly illuminating.
The most incredible part of the story is the managing director’s remarks that Timberland’s entry into India could help, not hurt, his business. He claims that foreign brands ‘bring more awareness about quality footwear’ to India. Then Indian consumers ‘buy our product because it is more value for money.’
'There is a similarity,’ he acknowledged, ‘but our line is quite different from theirs.’”
Read between the lines: We’ll ride on the coattails of your expensive advertising campaigns and then beat you out with our rock-bottom prices.
Timberland is addressing the apparent trademark violation through legal channels in India where “judges have often ruled that brands that are well known around the world cannot be copied by someone else in India, even if the companies with those brands do not do business in India.”
A tree-toting company which sells chunky, durable outdoor work boots has Timberland written all over it. Anyone who doesn’t see the similarities will be seen in court in the coming months.
August 4, 2009
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