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SAIL encashes bank guarantees of re-rollers misusing its trademark

Over more than a year, SAIL has been receiving tip-offs that spurious steel products bearing its trademark have flooded markets across the country.

By: ENS Economic Bureau | New Delhi |
April 10, 2014 1:28:56 am

SAIL filed about five FIRs against errant re-rollers for allegedly putting its logo on their products and has begun encashing their bank guarantees, besides claiming crores of rupees in damages for misusing its brand name.

Over more than a year, SAIL has been receiving tip-offs that spurious steel products bearing its trademark have flooded markets across the country. Such products, comprising mainly of TMT rebars and structural items, not only violate provisions of the Trademark Act, 1999 but also pose a risk to the public.

“Following credible inputs, we formed crack teams which visited various locations and have filed about 4-5 FIRs so far for misusing the SAIL brand. Our company has also begun encashing bank guarantees of the company’s agent Raipur-based SKS Ispat. We caution errant re-rollers to refrain from producing spurious products bearing SAIL’s trademarks,” SAIL’s director commercial Vinod Kumar said.

Kumar said SAIL has also initiated legal proceedings against those misusing its logo and has claimed financial damages amounting to “hundreds of crores of rupees.” The central marketing organisation of SAIL has also lodged FIRs against Raipur-based re-rollers — Pankaj Ispat and Alankar Alloys — found to be infringing trademark laws by illegally manufacturing TMT bars bearing SAIL trademarks. “The owners of these two companies have been imprisoned, while the Enforcement Directorate has seized assets worth Rs 7 crore from them in March,” he said. SAIL also lodged an FIR against Hyderabad-based Ramky Infrastructures for using spurious TMT bars with SAIL logo for the Rs 1625-crore Srinagar-Jammu highway expansion project.

When asked how much financial losses SAIL has accrued owing to these spurious products, Kumar said it will take time to ascertain the quantum of losses, while the initial estimate is few hundreds of crores of rupees.

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