The United Kingdom-based non-resident Indian Sandip Patel has dragged the Rs 775.4 crore (Rs 7.75 billion) Marico Industries to court over a trademark dispute related to the Sundari skin care brand.
Marico Industries acquired the Sundari brand by picking up a controlling equity interest in the United States-based Sundari LLC, an ayurvedic skin care company, in February 2003.
Marico holds 63 per cent of Sundari LLC's equity while its affiliate, Adil & Associates, holds 7.5 per cent of the equity, taking the total holding to 70.5 per cent. The remaining 29.5 per cent is held by Shantih LLC, an outfit of the founders of Sundari, and a group of private investors.
Dev Bajpai, general manager (legal) and company secretary of Marico Industries, confirmed the legal dispute and said, "In the process of the acquisition of the ayurvedic skin care business, Marico inherited an issue about the trademark Sundari in the UK."
Patel said in an emailed reply to questions that he had registered the Sundari brand in the UK and had brought it to the notice of the erstwhile management of Sundari LLC. It was learnt that Shantih LLC through its lawyer Lane & Partners had offered to settle the issue through mediation, which was later retracted.
Said Bajpai, "The erstwhile management of Sundari had initiated some action through Lane &