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SAIL gets tough with agents misusing trademarks

Posted on Apr 09 2014 | IBNS

New Delhi, Apr 9 : Central Marketing Organisation (CMO), the marketing wing of India's largest steel maker, Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL), has set the ball rolling to protect the various brand names/trademarks of the company and counter their misuse by unscrupulous re-rollers in different parts of the country.

ISO 9001:2008-certified CMO is India's largest steel marketing set-up with a presence in all parts of the country.

In a move that is aimed as a warning to all the re-rollers who are engaged in sale or manufacture of spurious steel products bearing the SAIL logo/brand names, CMO has encashed the multi-crore bank guarantee of its own conversion agent M/s SKS Ispat of Raipur, Chhattisgarh which was found to be indulging in illegal activity of misusing the SAIL brand.

SAIL said CMO has also initiated legal proceedings against the company and claimed several hundred crore rupees as damages for misusing SAIL brand names and trademark. M/s SKS Ispat has also been informed that its security deposit lying at CMO's Branch Sales Office, Bhilai will be forfeited.

On similar instance, CMO has lodged FIRs against Raipur-based re-rollers M/s Pankaj Ispat and M/s Alankar Alloys, who were also found to be infringing trademark laws by illegally manufacturing TMT bars bearing SAIL trademarks in their factories at Raipur, said the company.
Following this, the owners of these two companies were imprisoned. Further, the Enforcement Directorate has seized assets worth Rs. 7 crore from them in March '14 end.

In yet another case, CMO has also lodged an FIR against Hyderabad-based Ramky Infrastructures for using spurious TMT bars with SAIL trademarks in the Rs. 1625-crore Srinagar-Jammu highway expansion project in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

Over the last 18 months or so, CMO has been receiving information of clandestine and illegal manufacturing/rolling and selling of spurious steel products bearing SAIL marks in various parts of the country.

Sales of these products, mainly construction steels such as TMT rebars and structural items such as beams, joists, angles, channels, etc., not only violate the provisions of the Trademark Act, 1999 but also pose a risk for the general public because at times they do not conform to the quality standards of SAIL. Sales of such spurious material affect both the company's revenues as well as reputation. In addition to the company logo, SAIL has 18 registered product trademarks.

Customers of SAIL steel have been requested to purchase material only from SAIL's Branch Sales Offices or authorised Dealers to avoid risks associated with purchase of spurious material in the name of SAIL.

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