Go Airlines Ltd is weighing legal action against one of its promoters, Jehangir Nusli Wadia, to establish ownership over all trademarks and domain names used by the company.
In March, Go Holdings, in which Jeh holds 99 per cent stake, made two applications to the Registrar of Trade Marks, for registration of ‘Go Airlines’ and ‘www.goair.in’. In April, Jeh applied to the National Internet Exchange of India to transfer 115 domain names registered in the name of the company from one domain registrar (Net4India Ltd) to another (Network Solutions).
Legal options in air
“Our company is opposing the aforesaid applications and has also applied for the registration of these two-word marks in our own name.
The company also intends to take necessary steps and pursue legal options to establish its ownership over all the trademarks and domain names,” Go Airlines said in its draft prospectus to raise ₹3,600 crore through an IPO.
The company has informed Jehangir Nusli Wadia that the company is the factual and legal owner of all trademarks which are used by the company, and not all trademarks which are used by the company are registered in the name of Go Holdings,” the DRHP document said.
Jeh holds 24 per cent in Go Airlines and was until recently its Managing Director. According to the DRHP, the board and the shareholders had approved his re-appointment as MD for five years from January 1, 2021. However, he did not execute the agreement with the company.
The trademark tussle comes even as the airline has announced shifting to a new brand ‘Go First’ instead of ‘GoAir’ The airline has been using ‘Go’, ‘GoAir’ and ‘Fly Smart’ trademarks, logo and associated trademarks and service marks since 2004.
For four years (2006-09 and 2013-14), there were written licence agreements in place between the company and Go Holdings governing the use of these trademarks. For the remaining years, the use of these intellectual properties was not by way of a written licence agreement.
At present, no written agreement is in place with Go Holdings governing the use of these intellectual properties, the airline said.