Girnar tea moves Bombay HC against BigBasket over trademark violation
Mumbai: Tea maker Girnar Food and Beverages Pvt. Ltd has dragged Alibaba Group Holding-backed food and grocery retailer BigBasket to court for infringing its ‘Royal’ trademark, two people familiar with the development said.
The Mumbai-based tea maker has approached the court against two registered operating entities of BigBasket—SuperMarket Grocery Supplies Pvt. Ltd, the business-to-business entity that sources products and sells it to Innovative Retail—which runs the online grocery portal.
Girnar has alleged that the online grocery startup is using the Royal trademark to sell several products, including tea. “BigBasket is selling several products under the Royal brand, which includes grains, spices, honey and sugar. But Girnar has raised objection to the e-commerce start-up selling tea under the Royal brand,” said one of the people, seeking anonymity as the matter is under judicial consideration. “Girnar Food and Beverage sells several tea brands with many variants, but Royal Cup Tea is its flagship brand,” the person added.
According to the second person, Girnar Foods had approached the court on 7 March. The matter will be heard on 18 June. The Bombay high court website showed BigBasket filed its reply on 4 April, while Girnar filed a rejoinder to BigBasket’s reply on 5 May. BigBasket has sought more time to respond to the rejoinder filed by Girnar Foods.
Hari Menon, co-founder and CEO of BigBasket, did not respond to a request for comment. Viduit Shah, director of Girnar Food and Beverages, declined to comment as the matter is sub judice. An email query to a Girnar Food spokesperson did not elicit response till the time of going to press.
Mumbai-based law firm Jahangir Gulabbhai and Bilimoria and Daruwalla is the adviser to Girnar Food and Beverage, while senior counsels Birendra Saraf and Vivek Daswaney are representing the e-commerce grocer.
BigBasket raised $300 million in February in a Series E round led by Alibaba Group Holding. Its other investors, including Abraaj, International Finance Corp., and Sands Capital, also participated in the round.livemint