In a major victory for Indian automobile industry, Bajaj Auto Ltd [Get Quote] (BAL) has been able to stop the import, marketing and sale of the copied version of its premium bike Pulsar in Sri Lanka.
The Chinese company, Taian Chiran Machinery Company Ltd, had been reportedly marketing a copy of top selling Pulsar in different Latin American markets under Gulsar brand and had launched it in Sri Lanka few months back under the Ranomoto brand.
The Chinese company has tied up with a Lankan local dealer, Ranatunga Motors Pvt Ltd, which had marketed and had sold 26 Ranomoto bikes in Sri Lanka. Bajaj, which is already fighting a battle over intellectual property rights (IPR) over the manufacturing and marketing of Pulsar under various brands by the Chinese company, had filed a petition in Sri Lanka, one of its foremost overseas export markets.
On Bajaj's petition in the Sri Lanka High Court of Western Province, the Lankan dealer has undertaken to immediately stop sale of Ranotono bikes and stop all import and sale of similar bikes.
BAL is already in battle with the Chinese maker for copying its products and even marketing them under the Bajaj brand.
Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) has already filed a complaint with the Chinese embassy over IPR violations and has also raised the issue on several bilateral forums.
SIAM director Sugato Sen said, "The problem is affecting the entire automobile industry in India. We have taken up the matter with the ministry of commerce and several trade bodies to settle the issue but are not aware of any action yet."
For BAL, the matter is far more serious than just copying. A similar look-alike of its three-wheeler model Bajaj Autorickshaw is being sold under the same name in China and despite following the lengthy process on IPR violations there has been no respite till date.
However, the settlement on the brand copying and faking issue in Sri Lanka will be a big breather for it, as Bajaj is trying to establish itself as a major two-wheeler player in the global market.
Bajaj is setting up an assembly unit in China and has already started selling Pulsar bikes and its three-wheelers in Indonesia, with the initial target of 100,000 and 10,000 respectively.