SpicyIP Tidbit: ‘Maaza’ trademark under dispute

Media reports in the last week seem to suggest that a major trademark battle is brewing between Bisleri and Coca-Cola over the use of the ‘Maaza’ trademark. ‘Maaza’ is one of India’s most popular mango based non-carbonated soft drinks. It competes with two other popular mango drinks – ‘Frooti’ & ‘Slice’ which is owned by Pepsi. Originally ‘Maaza’ was owned by the Chauhan family which at that time also owned other famous trademarks like Thums-Up, Rim-Zim, Goldspot, Limca and Citra. However when Coca-Cola entered the Indian market it bought out all five brands from the Chauhans and initially attempted to kill these desi brands so as to market their  own drinks in the Indian market. The Thums-Up, Limca and Maaza brands however were quickly re-introduced into the market because of their widespread popularity in the rural markets.

 The FT reports that Coca-Cola had initially registered the ‘Maaza’ trademark in European countries so as to market the drink in those countries. However the Chauhan family which now owns Bisleri International claims that the agreement to hand over the ‘Maaza’ trademark to Coca-Cola was limited only to the Indian market and that Bisleri still has the international rights to the ‘Maaza’ trademark. The Hindu reports that Bisleri has in fact already entered into franchisee agreements with European companies and has started selling ‘Maaza’ in Europe. Since Coca-Cola’s move to register the Maaza trademark in Europe has directly threatened Bisleri’s commercial interests in Europe, they have sent a legal notice to Coca-Cola alleging that the initial agreement has been violated by Coca-Cola’s actions and have claimed upto $50 million dollars in damages for the alleged infringement. Bisleri has also threatened to file for cancellation of the ‘Maaza’ trademark in India. The FT reports that Coca-Cola has withdrawn a number of trademark applications for ‘Maaza’ in Europe. It remains to be seen whether this placates Bisleri. If not the matter could be headed for arbitration.  

Prashant Reddy

Prashant Reddy

T. Prashant Reddy graduated from the National Law School of India University, Bangalore, with a B.A.LLB (Hons.) degree in 2008. He later graduated with a LLM degree (Law, Science & Technology) from the Stanford Law School in 2013. Prashant has worked with law firms in Delhi and in academia in India and Singapore. He is also co-author of the book Create, Copy, Disrupt: India's Intellectual Property Dilemmas (OUP).

One comment.

  1. Avatargodlives in the himalayas

    Ten-year old Siddharth is traumatized when he witnesses a religious ceremony gone terribly wrong. During this sacred ritual, his mother is consumed by flames and his father is horribly burnt. Once a normal, outgoing boy, Siddharth is transformed by the tragedy into an introverted child of a few words.

    While awaiting and praying for his father’s recovery, Siddharth is forced to live with his uncle. Continuing the inexplicable downward spiral of his life, young Siddharth is subjected to abuse from his aunt. The only bright spot in his life is the warmth he receives from his cousin, Druki. Despite the sad circumstances that have caused it, she is delighted to have Siddharth living in her home and existing in her life.

    One evening, as she is preparing for bed, Druki asks her mother about the death of Siddharth’ mother. Searching for words to give peace to her daughter, the woman tells Druki that God took Siddharth’s mother away because he loved her so much. Siddharth learns of this and is puzzled, wondering how it is possible that God loved his mother more than he. The question burns in his mind like a sliver and, try as he might, he cannot banish the tormenting thought. In his young wisdom, he finally realizes that the only one who does know the answer is God Himself. And thus begins Siddharth’s epic journey to find God and pose the question to him.

    With a childlike innocence, he begins this journey by asking those around him where God lives. Since no one can tell him where God lives, he decides to find out for himself. He begins on this path by watching those around him whose lives appear to be spiritual, feeling they may know where God resides. He visits temples, follows religious processions, spies on priests – always searching for clues that will lead him to God… always to no avail.

    In the depths of depression, the pointer to the direction he must go, finally and unexpectedly comes to him in the form of an old man who says he knows where God lives. The old man explains that, of course, God lives in the middle of the Himalayas. Enlightened and excited, he now prepares to embark upon the high path to God’s home. As they learn about this, his cousin Druki and Siddharth’s best friend, Raju, implore him to take them along. At first he resists, but when he understands that they too have questions for God, there is no way he can refuse. And so, the three set out to find God in his home.

    They begin their arduous trek riding atop a bus. But, before long, the bus’ passengers grow suspicious and they are forced to continue on foot. Along the way a helper comes to them – almost as if he has been sent to do so. Ali, a teenager who works at a highway motel, gains them passage on an Army truck, also joining them as he, too, has questions for God and is inspired by Siddharth’s plan. A harrowing struggle ensues as they ford a river, desperately scavenge for food and dare the howling winds of the Himalayas. As they continue their journey into the clouds – further challenges assail and assault the quartet… yet none can deter them.

    And then, true tragedies strike – Raju plunges through melted snow and drowns. In the thin atmosphere, Druki draws her final breadth. And even Ali vanishes into the consuming mists of the upper reaches of the Himalayas.

    At last, Siddharth alone reaches the mountain respite that is God’s true home. In triumph and humility, Siddharth poses his questions to God – questions that all mankind has pondered since time immemorial. In a scene as powerful as Lord Krishna’s narration of the Bhagwad Gita to Arjuna, Siddharth’s life is forever changed – and so shall our viewers’ as they come to bathe in the joys of God’s revelation to this simple boy. Triumph is Siddharth’s at last… for he has, with intrepidity, determination and pureness of spirit, sought God where he lives. And in that triumph, he comes to know the greatest blessing of them all… peace. Om shanti, shanti, shanti, Om.

    Enjoy the Trailer of the Movie:


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