New Delhi: In a Baba versus Baba case, Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali Ayurved has dragged a firm launched by his former partner Swami Karamveer to Delhi High Court for allegedly violating its trademark and copyrights.
Patanjali Ayurved has accused Maharishi Patanjali Parivar, whose unit Kalpamrit Ayurved works “under the direct inspiration and guidance” of yoga guru Karamveer, of “infringement of trademark, copyright, dilution, rendition of accounts and damages” by launching products that are “deceptively similar” to Patanjali products in name, logo and packaging. The High Court in an interim order on Tuesday restrained Kalpamrit and its associates from using ‘Patanjali’ word or logo/artwork similar to those used by Patanjali till further order.
“…this court is of the opinion that a prima facie case of infringement of trademark and copyright is made out in favour of the plaintiff and balance of convenience is also in its favour. Further, irreparable harm or injury would be caused to the plaintiff if an interim injunction order is not passed,” a bench of Justice Manmohan said.
The next hearing on the matter is listed for May 7.
Karamveer is a former partner of Ramdev, having cofounded Divya Yog Mandir Trust along with Ramdev and Acharya Balkrishna. His company sells a number of consumer products from toothpaste and shampoo to juices and spices under Kalpamrit brand.
“Kalpamrit is using ‘Maharishi Patanjali Parivar’ on all its packaging of products and they are copying us,” said SK Tijarawala, spokesperson for Patanjali. Patanjali objected to Kalpamrit’s green and saffron stroke logo, which is similar to Patanjali, and also prayed for the cancellation of Maharishi Patanjali Parivar’s trademark applications, he said.
“We were established in 2006 and they were established in 2015-16,” Tijarawala said. “Swamiji (Ramdev) has registered the Patanjali name 25 years ago.” Tijarawala said Karamveer had resigned from Divya Yog Mandir Trust more than a decade ago. A spokesperson for Kalpamrit, however, said the company had no knowledge of any court case filed against it. “We have not received any notice from the court and we have no information on this; so we are not commenting,” the person said.
According to the court documents, Patanjali in March 2017 had sent a legal notice to Kalpamrit not to use the Maharishi Patanjali Parivar on its products. Kalpamrit had replied stating that “Patanjali is a proper Indian name and an ancient exponent of Raja Yog and the author of Yoga Sutras, a series of the verses about the eight steps needed to attain self -realisation and, therefore, the plaintiff has no exclusive right upon the trademark in the name Patanjali,” according to the court documents.
Kalpamrit currently operates more than 100 mostly franchiseerun outlets in various states, selling its branded items including honey, jams, mustard oil, spices, soaps, herbal tea, tomato ketchup, shampoo and toothpaste.
Over the years, Ramdev’s Patanjali has burst on to the national scene with a host of ayurveda-based products. The phenomenal success of the company, which clocked ₹10,500 crore in revenues in 2016-17, has also prompted global and local FMCG rivals including Hindustan Unilever, Colgate Palmolive and Dabur to either introduce or ramp up their ayurvedic portfolio.
Media had reported earlier this month that L Catterton PE fund co-owned by LVMH is ready to bet $500 million — almost half of its remaining Asia fund—to buy a stake in the enterprise.