Mukesh Ambani-helmed Reliance Industries Limited has approached the Ministry of Corporate Affairs to stop at least three companies with the word 'Jio' in their names, brands or ventures. With 45 classes of trademark, the company has filed cases before the regional director (western region) of the ministry. The three companies are registered with the Registrar of Companies (RoC), Pune.
According to a report in Mint that has accessed copies of the orders, the three companies have been asked by the Registrar of Companies to change their names within the next six months. If the companies fail to do so, prosecution proceedings will be initiated against the entities and their directors. As mentioned in the report, these companies were incorporated in the past couple of years, after Reliance Jio that was incorporated in 2007.
One company that deals with miscellaneous business activities and is based in Maharashtra's Ahmednagar, is called Jiokind Healthcare Pvt Ltd. Jio Rich Pvt Ltd and Doctor Jio Healthcare Pvt Ltd - the other two companies - are also based in Maharashtra. Jio Rich is a wholesaler of various goods.
Reliance argued in its application that its brand has been under continuous and extensive use. It added that it has become a distinct brand and has brought "goodwill and reputation" to the brand, as mentioned in the report.
"Jio has become a household name. Pursuant to this goodwill and reputation of Jio in the public mind, any goods, products, commodities, services or any other thing whatsoever made or traded under the brand Jio can be and are considered to have an apparent association, link to the applicants," Reliance said in its petition to the RoC. It also highlighted its myriad services like JioChat, JioTV, JioCinema, JioMusic etc.
The company highlighted in the petition that that RIL has 13 subsidiaries incorporated with a corporate name consisting the brand Jio and is the owner licensee of the trademark in almost every class with the word Jio and/or combination of some other word.