Trademark Violation Claims by Havmor, the Ice-Cream Chain

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! How wonderful of Howard Johnson to add tunes to our feelings. Little did we know, it might be the other way round. Almost 93-years later, we are rather witnessing an Ice-cream giant screaming at business entities.

The well-known ice cream brand Havmor has been satisfying our taste buds for more than 70-years. Like every successful entity, Havmor too started off as a small not-so-famous brand in Ahmadabad. With hard work, dedication, and of course, an enormous variety of drop-dead scrumptious flavors made it what it stands today. Over the years, Havmor’s gorgeous and toothsome ice creams have grabbed the trending Instagram hashtag. For that matter why would any brand, especially Havmor easily let go of that painstakingly earned goodwill.

Not very long ago, Havmor employees came across a brand using a much similar name on the online grocery shopping platform, Grofers India Private Limited. The impugning brand, as stated by the ice cream-giant is named Usha Aunty’s Havmore. Much disappointed by such infringement, Havmor has dragged two entities before the Court known as Hands On Trade Private Limited and VLS Foods Private Limited. The first one operates in Delhi while the second one is based in Rajasthan. Not just these two, Havmor pushed Grofers in the case as well.

Calling it a sheer case of trademark infringement, it is alleged that the entities are using the term ‘Havemore’ on its products. Such illegal adoption and usage of a deceptively similar trademark by Hands on Trade to market items like cereals, chocolate flakes, corn flakes, pickles, and ketchup, grabbed Havmor’s radar in May. On May 29, Havmor sent demand notices to each entity including Grofers. Not to mention, Hands-On Trade and VLS Foods for adopting a similar trade name and Grofers, for selling the products online.

The records available on Trade Mark Registry website shows that Hands On Trade had applied for registration of the mark “Havemore with Device” under Class 29 on January 10 this year with a user claim of June 2018. The status stands objected by the Registry itself on the ground that the applied trademark is “identical and similar” with Havmor’s. The same was asserted by Havmor.

In its response, Hands On Trade clarified that the addition of ‘Usha Aunty’s’ as a suffix to Havemore makes both the trademarks different from each other. Havmor being in a strong position retaliated the claims and called them ‘misleading’ with the primary motive to ride upon Havmor’s well-established goodwill. Havmor is seeking damages amounting to Rs 2.8 lakhs from all three companies.

The parties and their attorneys are yet to comment on the dispute. The matter shall be taken next on September 4 before the Ahmedabad Civil Court.