India’s Khadi gets trademark in Mexico, UAE and Bhutan
21 July 2021
The Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) in India announced that since December 2020, it has secured trademark registrations for the brand name “Khadi” in three more countries namely Mexico, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bhutan.
Khadi is a natural fiber cloth spun and woven by hand. It is made of cotton, silk or wool and is naturally coarse. An interesting quality of the cloth is that it allows the wearer to feel cool during the summer and warm in wintertime.
KVIC, a statutory body formed by the Government of India in 1957, acquired its latest trademark registration for Khadi in Bhutan on July 9. Preceding this were trademark registrations in UAE on June 28 which signaled the brand’s first time to be granted a trademark in a Gulf country, and in Mexico in December 2020.
The three countries are the latest to award Khadi with trademark registrations. The others are China, Australia, Germany, Russia, United Kingdom and the European Union. In these jurisdictions, KVIC registered the mark under the classes Khadi fabric, Khadi ready-made garments and village industry products including Khadi soaps, Khadi cosmetics, Khadi incense sticks and others.
“Khadi can become a global brand. It has a massive potential. UAE has 3.5 million Indians and it is a great market for Khadi. The trademark would help,” said startup entrepreneur Ramanuj Mukherjee, founder of SuperLawyer in New Delhi and CEO of LawSikho in Mumbai.
Trademark applications for Khadi are also pending in 40 other countries. Among these are Japan, Singapore, Sri Lanka, New Zealand, Italy, Brazil, Qatar and the United States.
In 2017, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi encouraged locals to buy Khadi-made gift items to generate more jobs in India, particularly for artisans and craftsmen in regions where Khadi and Khadi products are being made. Modi’s appeal to consumers triggered an interest in the product, allowing Khadi’s popularity to escalate not just in India but also overseas.
However, its growing popularity also spurred some organizations to file trademark applications for the brand or logo when they shouldn’t. One such organization was One Foundation Oaxaca Ac in Mexico which applied for the Khadi logo. KVIC successfully opposed the application.
KVIC had also ordered Amazon, Flipkart and other e-commerce sites to take down more than 160 web links related to the sales of Khadi counterfeit products.
“I have spoken in the past about how a large number of Indian brands, mostly startups, are quickly going global. It’s refreshing to have a historical brand like Khadi which is almost sentimental for Indians take international market expansion seriously,” said Mukherjee who is also a blogger and influencer.
“It should be a routine process for Indian brands with international potential to get trademarks internationally. We will see a lot more Indian brands going global in the next few years,” he added.
Espie Angelica A. de Leon