Khadi and Village Industries Commission sues Fabindia over the use of ‘Khadi’

Ethnic retailer Fabindia is sued by Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) for allegedly selling factory-made cotton garments under the garb of ‘Khadi’. KVIC has filed a case against the ethnic retailer in the Bombay High Court and seeks damages of INR 525 crore.

Fabindia was told to pay monetary damages for the loss of profit earned by the company by using the ‘Khadi’ trademark and the Khadi mark by law firm Kochhar & Co, who represent KVIC. Earlier, since 2015 Fabindia had been in conversation with KVIC to resolve the matter. However, as Fabindia did not meet the norms of the procedure, their talks did not yield positive results as KVIC did not grant the retailer the rights to sell garments under the Khadi brand. KVIC is responsible for promoting village industries and Khadi. Raymond and Arvind Mills is authorised to use the Khadi trademark by KVIC.

KVIC would protect its reputation and would also adopt extreme measure against those who violate rule and regulations that promote and help rural artisans attached to KVIC, said Chairman, Vinai Kumar Saxena.

Fabindia apparently continued to sell its clothing under the style and name of Khadi in spite of assurances that they would not do so, according to KVIC. The samples from Fabindia were tested by KVIC around July 2015. They showed that the retailer was selling factory-made cotton clothes under the guise of Khadi, according to the complaint by KVIC. Hence, the notice from KVIC to halt the violation of the regulation about the illegal use of the Khadi mark, to stop issuing advertisements about Khadi products and the sale of the fabrics under the name of Khadi.

Subsequently, Fabindia informed KVIC in a letter in August 2016 that it had adhered to all the regulations. Later though, KVIC found that the retailer was still using the Khadi mark on its products and in 2017, KVIC served a legal notice to Fabindia. 







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