It all began as the small Anand Milk Union Ltd (AMUL) in 1946. With the great visionary, the late Dr Varghese Kurien, it later turned into a dairy products’ brand owned by the Kaira District Cooperative Milk Producers’ Union Ltd. With further expansion, eventually, the Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF) began marketing the Amul brand of dairy products.

In 2014-15, the Amul turnover was nearly Rs 21,700 crore. It currently procures and processes 148.5 crore litres of milk from 18,536 village milk cooperative societies. The Amul products are exported to over 50 countries. It owns 60 dairies across India, with more in the offing.

With its pan-India popularity, therefore, many non-dairy products—ranging from hosiery to tractors—copied the “Amul” name to cash in on its brand-recall value.

No longer would “The Taste of India” sour, however.

With the Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) recently ruling in its favour, no one else would be allowed to cash in on the Amul popularity for any products whatsoever.

“Products like Amul tractors (manufactured by a Rajkot-based firm) or Amul hosiery (made by a Mumbai-based company) will not be able to copy the logos and fonts of Amul,” RS Sodhi, Managing Director, GCMMF, told BusinessLine .

Last week, the Controller-General of Patents Design & Trademarks, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry, in a notification, approved and categorised Amul as a “well-known brand” in a list of 68 brands. “The IPAB has emphasised Amul as a well-known trademark," DIPP said.

Sodhi said this virtually accords Amul, the top Indian trademark in dairy products, the status of a global patent. “Many were trying to get their products registered with the Amul name. Every time we had to move the courts to protect our original Amul brand. “

He said, as a global brand, the Amul name, its fonts and other brand-related specifics have become intellectual property of GCMMF and no one would be able to copy it. “No one in the world will be able to launch any product with Amul name without our consent.”

In India, nearly 70 brands come in this category of “well-known brands”—most of these are from overseas, ranging from 7’O Clock shaving razors manufactured by Gillette UK Ltd to Pepsi to BBC; India’s own “well-known brands” in the list include Nirma, Rajnigandha, Bisleri etc. Amul has been added, recently, at number 66 in this list.

“With less litigation now, there will be no dilution of our brand image. Millions of loyal customers will also benefit as no one will be able to dupe them. No one would now be able to use the Amul name either for any other products.”