A recent intellectual property (IP) violation has come to light in India. A multinational company has been accused of infringing upon the intellectual property rights of a local competitor. This transgression has caused a great deal of concern among the local firms and has led to calls for reform. In such a situation, it is important to take action in order to prevent similar violations in the future.

It is important to understand what IP violations are before diving deeper. They are the unauthorised use, sale, duplication of products like movies, books, logos, goods etc. IP includes patents, copyright, trademarks. Patents are legal protection for inventions, for example; Sputnik-V, COVISHIELD are patented vaccines the formula of which cannot be used by third parties to profit from them. Copyrights are usually for movies, songs, books etc. Trademarks include brand names and logos which help customers identify the business.


Parle has recently been unsuccessful in its battle against Cadbury. Among many things, Cadbury is famous for its Oreo cookies. At the mention of Oreo, a common consumer would associate it with a black and white cookie and a blue packaging. The dispute arose when Parle rolled out their new product called Fab!o. It is likely that Parle intended to ride on the success of Oreo by releasing its Fab!o cookies which are also black and white in a blue packaging. The three prongs under which Cadbury claimed that their trademark was being infringed are the brand name, the packaging and the biscuit's design.

The Delhi High Court, while considering all three aspects in detail, has ruled in favour of Cadbury. Regarding the name, while parle claims that Fab!o is to be pronounced as Fab-O, the name which was registered, and the exclamation is an element of fun, it cannot be ignored that a consumer would pronounce it as Fabio since the intention behind adding that exclamation mark would be unknown. This results in a phonetic similarity between Oreo and Fabio and would deceive or cause confusion. It is also important to keep in mind that great importance was given to "the point of view of a man of average intelligence and imperfect recollection" and how actions taken by the company would affect such a consumer.

Parle claimed that their packaging mentioned the brand name more than once and had two biscuits instead of one being dipped into milk like Oreos packaging. They claimed that consumers aren't likely to confuse two brands simply based on the colour of the packaging for which the court referred to the 'initial interest confusion' principle which reeled back to the man of average intelligence who would be confused when local competitors have almost identical packaging. Parle won the argument about the design on the surface of the cookie being different than that of Oreo.


It is equally important to understand why such incidents are a cause of concern and why appropriate measures must be taken to prevent them. Trademarks serve to protect the interests of both the consumers and the owners. It helps the consumers distinguish between brands and make informed decisions about the brands they choose to trust and purchase from. The main purpose however is to inherently protect the reputation of a company and its owner. Trademarks prevent unfair competition by ensuring that one company does not ride on the success of another by deceiving the consumers to ensure more profits. Once a trademark is registered, selling of counterfeits of such products is also prohibited and severe sanctions can be placed.


In recent years, India has become a significant player in the international economy. The country has quickly risen to become one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. Many foreign companies have established their operations in the country in order to take advantage of the business opportunities that are available there. However, some of these companies have been accused of infringing upon the intellectual property rights of local competitors. Such incidents have cast a shadow over the country's reputation in the business world and have damaged its reputation on the global stage. This is causing major concerns and could lead to serious consequences if it is not addressed properly. There are a number of steps that can be taken in order to avoid such incidents in the future. Companies should ensure that they obtain proper licences for any products or services that they sell or offer to the public. They should also ensure that their products do not infringe on the intellectual property rights of other companies or individuals.

It is also important that companies take steps to take action against any employees or agents who engage in illegal activities. These steps will go a long way towards ensuring that India is able to gain a reputation as an upstanding member of the international business community. It will also help ensure that companies are protected from any legal action that may be brought against them if accused of infringement in the future. It is important to emphasise that these measures are not intended to punish companies that are merely trying to make a profit. Rather, they are designed to encourage companies to act ethically and play by the rules that have been established in order to protect the interests of both consumers and other businesses.

Trademark violations are bound to disrupt the flow of investment from developed countries. It creates a hindrance in the minds of investors. Investing in a brand which would violate IP of other companies would lead to a direct loss of the investors' money since the company would face reputational and economic losses. Moreover, this would create a monopoly of foreign markets in India as the brand credibility of local competitors would decrease. Taking the above example, consumers are now more likely to trust Cadbury and its biscuits than Parle which has a negative impact on an economy like ours which is trying to be independent by strengthening its local players. The FMGC Sector is also said to have lost 15% of its revenue due to IP violations.


IP violations lead to both reputational and monetary losses for all the parties involved. The recent. Case between Cadbury and Parle is just one of the example of the growing problem of infringing trademarks and getting more profits through non-ethical means. To prevent such violations in the future, it is essential for companies to respect intellectual property laws and ensure that their policies are fair and transparent. Only then can we create an environment that fosters innovation and creativity while protecting the rights of creators and developers.

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