Aahar Food sued for importing, distributing counterfeit Haldiram products in the US

Forum Gandhi Mumbai | Updated on April 11, 2021

Indian snack leader Haldiram’s has sued Aahar Food Distributors LLC in the US district court for allegedly importing, distributing and selling counterfeit Haldiram products in the States. The snack-maker has also sought damages to the tune of $2,000,000 per counterfeit mark for trademark violations.

Haldiram’s has sought relief on at least five grounds, including federal trademark infringement, false representation and false designation of origin, common law trademark infringement, unfair competition, and injury to business reputation.

A counsel on behalf of Haldiram’s has alleged that Aahar, without consent or permission of Haldiram’s, has imported, distributed and sold products into the States “food products which are not produced or authorised by plaintiff, but whose packaging is marked with the designation Haldiram, in the form of a trademark or trade name, which mark and/or name so resembles the plaintiff’s Haldiram’s marks as to be likely to cause confusion to cause mistake, or to deceive relevant consumers as to the origin of the defendant’s goods”.

Not only has Aahar used the counterfeit products, but it has also used signage, advertising and promotional material featuring or including the Haldiram designation, in the form of a trademark or trade name, to promote food products, the Indian company claimed.

According to Haldiram’s, relevant consumers are likely to believethat the food products imported, distributed and/or sold by Aaharare goods originating from, or produced, endorsed, sponsored or distributed by Haldiram’s.

The counsel alleged that despite notifying Aahar, it “continued importation, distribution and/or sale of food products whose packaging bears the infringing and counterfeit designation Haldiram, both within this district and elsewhere in interstate commerce, are in flagrant disregard of the clear prior rights of plaintiff in and to its Haldiram marks in the United States.”

The Indian snack company has prayed for relief, wherein the court restraining all parties related to Aahar Distributors from importing, buying, receiving, selling, distributing, consigning, transporting or otherwise dealing in food products bearing any reproduction, counterfeit, copy, or colorable imitation of Haldiram marks.

Seeks damages

It further sought damages “suffered as a result of the unlawful acts of defendant, in an amount to be determined by the court, but not less than $100,000. That plaintiff be awarded defendant’s profits after accounting”.

Along with this, “Haldiram’s also demanded to be awarded statutory damages or treble damages or profits, whichever is greater, in an amount not less than $200,000 per counterfeit mark per type of goods sold by defendant and not more than $2,000,000 per counterfeit mark per type of goods sold by defendant.

Published on April 11, 2021

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