Khadi brand gains strength globally as KVIC secures trademark registrations in these countries

The commission had last year said it forced e-commerce portals such as Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal, and others to remove over 160 web links selling products using the brand name of “Khadi”.

Ease of Doing Business for MSMEs: In order to further strengthen and protect the word mark and brand ‘khadi’ globally, Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC), the statutory body for the promotion of enterprises in khadi and village industries under the Ministry of MSME, has secured ‘khadi’ trademark registrations in three more countries – Bhutan, UAE, and Mexico. The trademarks were secured in Mexico in December last year followed by UAE on June 28, and Bhutan on July 9. According to the MSME Ministry, applications for similar trademarks have been pending in 40 other countries including the USA, Qatar, Sri Lanka, Japan, Italy, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Brazil, etc.

The total number of countries where the Khadi trademark has been secured has gone up from six viz., Germany, the UK, Australia, Russia, China, and EU to nine now. According to the government, KVIC has got registrations in these countries in various classes that pertain to Khadi fabric, Khadi readymade garments and village industry products such as Khadi soaps, Khadi cosmetics, Khadi incense sticks, and more.

In recent years, Khadi’s popularity has seen massive growth in India and abroad due to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s appeal to adopt Khadi and it has become very important for KVIC to protect the identity of Khadi and safeguard the interest of consumers and lakhs of Khadi artisans who are manufacturing genuine Khadi products, said KVIC Chairman Vinai Kumar Saxena.

KVIC noted instances of some private local entities in countries like Mexico and Germany seeking trademark registration for the brand name “Khadi”. KVIC had challenged the trademark application of “One Foundation Oaxaca Ac” in Mexico which had applied for the “Khadi” logo. Likewise, a local company in Germany Best Natural Products GmbH had got prior rights in the mark “KHADI” and related marks in the EU and other countries in different classes in 2011.

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The commission had last year said it forced e-commerce portals such as Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal, and others to remove over 160 web links selling products using the brand name of “Khadi”.  This was in wake of KVIC serving legal notices to over 1000 firms using the brand name “Khadi India” to sell their products and thus “causing damage to its reputation and the loss of work to Khadi artisans,” a statement had noted.

Financial Express Online had reported in May this year that Khadi sales had bounced back in FY21 with 3.6X growth from the preceding year. According to the MSME Ministry dashboard data, 2,790 Khadi institutions involving 4.97 lakh artisans reported Rs 3,079.13 crore in sales, up from 2,687 Khadi institutions involving 4.96 lakh artisans reporting sales worth Rs 840.97 crore in FY20. “There were a lot of government orders that we had received last year. While during the pandemic there was no sale but we had launched the online sale that supported our growth. Moreover, after khadi outlets were allowed to open last year, aggressive marketing was undertaken and customers had also started accepting local products,” Saxena had told Financial Express Online.

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