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OILS AND FATS

Cargill’s oil business cracks down on attempt to counterfeit Gemini oil
Tuesday, 02 July, 2019, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Our Bureau, Mumbai
Cargill’s oil business in India took a serious stand against attempts to counterfeit its flagship brand, Gemini Cooking Oil. This has resulted in the organisation winning a suit filed against M M Oil Enterprises on these grounds.

Aslam Noor Siddiqui, proprietor, M M Oil Enterprises, was sentenced for eight weeks of civil imprisonment for brazen breach of a March 2017 order to not infringe copyrights of Gemini Cooking Oil.

They committed an act of passing off by adopting a deceptively similar impugned mark/packaging material Genuine - Refined Sunflower Oil as against the brand’s label mark/trade dress Gemini - Refined Sunflower Oil.

The notable verdict would further deter miscreants from indulging in such practices. This decision also set a valuable precedent for the plaintiffs seeking effective relief against offenders who habitually violate their intellectual property rights.

In May 2017, Cargill’s oils business in India had seized the finished and semi-finished stocks of a fake product called Genuine in its fight against the menace of counterfeiting.

The company had successfully launched an anti-counterfeiting technology to check its brand’s authenticity in February 2017.

Counterfeits like Genuine not only diminish the reputation of the Gemini brand, but also pose health risks for the consumers who buy fake product under the assumption that they are buying the authentic one.

Armed with a High Court order, Cargill’s oils business in India, with the help of court officials and local police authorities, conducted a raid on M M Oil Enterprises in the month of April 2017 at its premises at Dahisar Mori, Maharashtra. The raid resulted in seizure of finished goods and packing material of the Genuine brand.

Commenting on this, Subin Sivan, marketing head, Cargill’s oils business in India, said, “Gemini Cooking Oil is a heritage brand that has built goodwill and trust amongst our consumers. Counterfeit products sabotage this trust and goodwill that this brand enjoys. It also compromises the health and wellbeing of consumers.”

“Our initiative to introduce technology for combating counterfeit products has helped in bringing malefactors such as M M Oil Enterprises to task. We applaud the verdict by the Bombay High Court which will further dissuade offenders to commit such malpractices,” he added.

The anti-counterfeiting technology launched by Cargill in February 2017 has a unique feature with a two-way process to check the authenticity of its products. This process includes a 3D hologram of Cargill with 1865 – the year of foundation of Cargill’s operations - written.

In addition, customers can download an app called Mojo Tags to scan the batch code of the product and receive reassurance that the brand is authentic. This is the first time an edible oil brand in the country has used technology to fight the problem of counterfeiting.

Cargill’s oils business in India believes in nourishing the world in a safe, responsible and sustainable way and follows global standards of food safety. It strongly condemns counterfeiting and is committed to take action to eradicate the problem at its roots.
 
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