Oreo maker moves Delhi HC against Parle, alleges patent infringement

Intercontinental Great Brands, a unit of snacking major Mondelez International which makes Oreo has dragged Parle Products to Delhi High Court over the design of Parle’s Fabio biscuits.

Intercontinental Great Brands has filed a trademark infringement case in the Delhi HC alleging that the design of Parle’s Fabio biscuit is ‘deceptively’ similar to that of Oreo. Intercontinental Great Brands LLC is a US-based company that manufactures and supplies packaged food products and is a unit of Mondelez International.

Biscuits and snacks maker Parle Products launched Fabio biscuits in January 2020 in two flavours, while Oreo was launched in India by Mondelez nearly 10 years ago in 2011 marking its foray into the biscuit category in India. The colour scheme of the logo of both biscuits are also similar (white and blue).

Oreo is touted to be the largest selling premium cookie brand in the world, which hit $3.1 billion in sales in 2019. In India, Mondelez claims that India is among Oreo’s top-five markets by volume and the fourth largest market for the cookie brand in the world.

Both Mondelez India and Parle Products declined to comment on the legal proceedings. “Mondelez India will be unable to comment as the matter is sub-judice,” Mondelez India told CNBC-TV18 in a statement.

When the matter was last heard on February 9, Intercontinental Great Brands appealed to the court to prepone the hearing, which was denied by the court. The Delhi HC will hear the matter again on April 12.

Patent infringement cases are not new to India’s biscuit industry. One year ago in February 2020, Britannia dragged Future Consumer to court alleging that the packaging of Future Consumer’s ‘Tasty Treat’ brand was deceptively similar to Britannia’s biscuits.

In December 2020, Britannia moved Delhi High Court against the packaging of ITC’s Sunfeast Veda Digestive and Sunfeast 5-Seed Digestive biscuits, which it alleged were deceptively similar to its own Nutri Choice Hi-Fibre and Nutri Choice Digestive biscuits’ packaging.

Prior to this, in 2016, ITC moved Delhi HC as well claiming trademark and copyright infringement by Britannia. It alleged that the packaging of Britannia’s Nutrichoice Digestive Zero biscuits are similar to that of ITC’s Sunfeast Farmlite Digestive All Good Biscuit. Britannia had told the court at the time that it was willing to consider changing the colour scheme of the packaging. ITC won this legal battle with the Delhi High Court asking Britannia not to sell its digestive biscuits, NutriChoice Zero.

Content retrieved from: https://www.cnbctv18.com/legal/oreo-maker-moves-delhi-hc-against-parle-alleges-patent-infringement-8483601.htm.