ED seizes assets for SAIL trademark infringement

The Enforcement Directorate has confiscated assets worth Rs 7 crore from two firms located in Chhattisgarh for alleged infringement on the brand of public sector SAIL. This is the first time that the charges of money laundering being charged in India for encroachment of the Trade Marks Act. Two firms based in Raipur, Ms Alankar Alloys Pvt Ltd and Ms Pankaj Ispat Ltd, have been charged for “illegally manufacturing” SAIL brand TMT bars in their factories, and the agency has confiscated two office buildings, five flats, one plot and two luxury cars, an Audi and a BMW from them.

The case was filed back in April 2013 when Steel Authority of India (SAIL) charged a formal complaint with the Chhattisgarh police asserting that these companies were allegedly involved in fake branding of its name which has not only caused damage to the reputation of one of the largest iron and steel makers of the country, but was also making it loose money.

The ED’s zonal office in the Chhattisgarh filed a case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) after considering the police FIR and its investigation till now has found that both the accused firms have reportedly laundered huge sums of money in violation of the Trade Marks Act, 1999.

As per reports from PTI, the ED discovered that ‘SAIL brand TMT rods’ were being made secretly and were being sold at “inflated costs” outside the state through a firm registered in the name of Ms Baid Steel Pvt Ltd, Raipur.

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