Real estate developers in India have started challenging possible infringement of their brand names established over the years, joining their counterparts in sectors such as pharmaceuticals and consumer goods that are known to make serious efforts to promote and protect their distinctive identities.
Developers including Hiranandani, Orbit, KalpataruBSE 0.11 % and HCC have reacted swiftly in recent days to protect their brands. Real estate tycoon Niranjan Hiranandani moved the court to prevent his daughter Priya Hiranandani Vandrevala from using the name ‘Hiranandani’ in her business. The developer has also sought Rs 50 crore as compensation for damage caused by alleged infringement of copyright and trademark by Hiranandani Living (HLPL).
In another such instance, Mumbaibased Orbit Corp managed an out-ofcourt settlement after filing a Rs 500-crore infringement suit against its namesake company. “How could we allow someone to dilute our brand? We are a listed company on stock exchange. We have the registered trademark for our brand and have been using the name since 1973,” said Pujit Aggarwal, managing director and chief executive of Orbit Corp. Following the settlement, Orbit Ventures has stopped using the name ‘Orbit’.
Developers say that with increasing competition and a variety of properties coming up, brand names are an important determinant of product value. “It is no surprise that realty developers fiercely protect any encroachment on their brand imagery and if it means fighting long-drawn legal battles, so be it,” said Tina Jain Mehta, founder of Pineapple Consulting, a brand consulting and design firm.