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Sambhar Mafia - Cooked To Kill!

Monday, May 29, 2006

What’s in a name?

IT major Infosys is trying to restrain other companies from using the term Infosys as part of their company name. This move is to prevent the other companies (some of them are dubious!) from enjoying the goodwill that the Infosys brand enjoys.

Definitely having `Infosys’ as part of a company’s name will have a positive rub-off effect. Small wonder that over a dozen companies have ‘Infosys’ as part of their identity. But the Bangalore-based IT major is not taking kindly to this. Infosys has identified such companies and is seeking legal action against them.

Back in the 90s, lot of companies went in for such name change so that they mislead the investors and get huge oversubscription during the IPO. The term Infosys is nothing unique as it is the combination of two words associated with the IT field. Other terms like InfoTech and InfoComm also fall under the same category. We already have a company by name Infotech Enterprises Limited (IEL). If IEL becomes a multi-billion dollar company like Infosys, we might see IEL doing the same thing. If this happens, people who want to make genuine use of such names to indicate the nature of the business might be running out of choices.

Sticking to the topic of brand names, we have a case of the same name being used for a premium car and an entry-level watch. I wonder whether Hyundai has raised any issue with Titan for the use of the ‘Sonata’ name for Titan’s watch range.


  • I think Infosys is suffering from paranoia.

    There are exactly 19 companies registered in TN with infosys as a part of their name. (too lazy to check companies in other states).Data shows that 3 companies have been incorporated before 1995 and 10 of them before the year 2000. Now, infy will demand all of them to change the names? how ridiculous?

    Let me know if there are any monetary incentives from Infy to remove infosys from their companie's name, I'm on my way to float a new company 'Icarus Infosys Pvt Ltd', a matter of few 100 rupees :)

    By Blogger icarus prakash, at 5:35 PM  

  • As I recall, back in the late 1990s Infy actually sued a company that called itself "Winfosys". I believe they even succeeded in getting the latter to change their name. Has anything happened recently that made them sit up and sue a bunch of companies?

    By Blogger Abi, at 5:46 PM  

  • Interesting post, Kaps. Did you see the news about O'reilly suing a company for using Web2.0 name?

    By Blogger Venky Krishnamoorthy, at 10:48 PM  

  • Even if Hyundai did have problems, I think Titan could well tell them to go take a hike.

    The Titan Sonata range was being marketed and sold well before the Korean cars came over..

    By Blogger shrik, at 2:35 AM  

  • I don't think trademark law can be used in Sonata's case. The basis of trademarks is that you obtain one so that your product/service (service mark) can't be confused with that of another competitor.

    There's no reasonable case that a car may be confused for a watch.

    Now if Tata launched a car or even a motor vehicle with the Sonata moniker, then Hyundai has a case.

    Then again, IANAL.

    By Anonymous antrix, at 9:58 AM  

  • if i m not wrong even the name 'TUCSON' is used by two car manufacturers, have to chk it out to confirm

    By Blogger Filtered Sambhar, at 10:41 AM  

  • Did you just call the hundai sonata a premium car ? :)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:15 PM  

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