THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, BENGALURU: After the long drawn-out battle over intellectual property rights, the Kerala Road Transport Corporation has got the legal right to its trademarks -- acronym KSRTC, the logo of two elephants and the name Anavandi -- associated with the state-run transport corporation.
The Controller General of Patents Design and Trade Marks under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry approved Kerala’s claim on Wednesday. The registration will make Kerala RTC the sole custodian of the trademarks. All buses of the corporation will display KSRTC with the mark to indicate the registration (R).
A senior officer from the Karnataka Transport Department said they are yet to receive official communication and they will be able to respond after receiving the copy of the order.
The Kerala RTC and Karnataka State Transport Corporation were fighting over the custody of the acronym ‘KSRTC’ for the last seven years. Even now, buses and websites of both RTCs use KSRTC. The decision is likely to end the confusion among passengers to know which one is the real KSRTC.
“The history of KSRTC is intertwined with the lives of people of the state. It is not just a transport service, but has left the legacy of public transport in our cultural life including films and literature. It is not something that can be erased so easily. It is a pleasure to know that the Trade Mark Registry recognised the state’s claim. It is a victory for KSRTC and I congratulate all officials involved in the effort,” said Kerala Transport Minister Antony Raju.
The tussle over ‘KSRTC’ began when Karnataka RTC made a move for trademark registration in 2014. A legal notice from Karnataka RTC woke Kerala up and made it to speed up proceedings to get custody of the trademark properties.
“Only we have the right to use the acronym KSRTC. We will send a notice to Karnataka,” said KSRTC CMD Biju Prabhakar. “We have followed the registration application closely in the last one year. We have presented pictures and other evidence to prove that we have indeed started ahead of Karnataka.”
Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) is one of the oldest operated and managed public transport utilities in the country. Travancore State Transport Department (TSTD) was reestablished as Kerala State Road Transport Corporation on April 1, 1965. Karnataka RTC also has a similar legacy, but it started as Mysore Government Road Transport Department and then became Karnataka Transport Corporation in 1973.
The CMD also said KSRTC will send notices to people using the trademark name, Anavandi. There are many popular blogs using the name. With the name in custody, KSRTC can claim money for using its trademark, said Biju Prabhakar.
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