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Trademark and Copyright infringement case: Canadian Federal Court ruled in favour of Amul India

Legal Correspondent: Praveen Kumar

August 23, 2021: A permanent injunction has been imposed against Amul Canada, a Canadian firm, by the Federal Court of Canada. A case had been filed by the Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation Limited and Kaira District Co-operative Milk Producers’ Union Limited, commonly known as “Amul” for infringing their trademark and copyright. In addition to the injunction decree, the court ordered the defendant (Amul Canada) to pay around CAD 32,733 as damages to the plaintiffs.

According to the court statement, the defendants have directed public attention to their business in such a way as to cause or be likely to confuse Canada, at the time they began doing so, between their business and the goods and business of the Plaintiffs, contrary to section 7(b) of the Trademarks Act.

Celebrating the victory of Amul India, Dr. Rupinder Singh Sodhi, Managing Director of Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation, Ltd. (Amul), tweeted, “Amul has well-known Brand status all over the world so no can use it in any product category. A win of 3.6 million farmers.”

Amul, India's dairy giant and the all-time favourite, has sued Amul Canada along with four other individuals namely Mohit Rana, Akash Ghosh, Chandu Das, and Patel. The infringement was done via online networking platform LinkedIn. The Amul alleged that the defendants not only advertised its product but also used its brand image and name exploiting its brand image and reputation, as well as business information in LinkedIn website. The act was done when Amul has categorically denied providing any licence or consent to Amul Canada or any of the four people named above to utilise its trademarks or copyrights in any form.

"We have made numerous attempts to obtain a response from the Defendants (Amul Canada and four others) but have never received one," Amul asserted. Further, our legal counsel filed an ex parte motion for default judgement. The court also discovered that each defendant violated the plaintiffs' copyright under Section 27 of the Copyright Act, as well as their trademark rights under Sections 19 and 20(1)(a) of the Trademarks Act.

"Kaira District Co-operative Milk Producers' Union Limited is the registered owner of Canadian Trademark Registration No. TMA877339, registered on May 7, 2014, for the trademark AMUL, which has been used in Canada since June 30, 2020, in association with the goods milk products," the Federal Court added. Amul India, the plaintiff was represented by Suhrita Majumdar who works as an intellectual property lawyer at S. Majumdar & Co. in New Delhi. In Canada, it was represented by Michael Adams an Intellectual Property lawyer from Riches McKenzie & Herbert LLP's.


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