Bengaluru NGO cancels 'Blind Pinkathon' over trademark issues

Mumbai, Mar 5: A Bengaluru-based NGO has decided to cancel its 'Blind Pinkathon', a marathon scheduled to be held tomorrow, after a suit was filed by actor Milind Soman's company in the Bombay High Court here claiming trademark on the word 'Pinkathon'.

Justice K R Shriram was yesterday hearing a suit filed by Milind Soman's Maximus Mice and Media Solutions Pvt. Ltd which in association with United Sisters Foundation (plaintiffs) claims to be holding 'Pinkathon' marathons in various cities across India since 2012.

Bengaluru Map

The suit was filed after the plaintiffs learnt that Bangalore-based NGO IDL Foundation, which works for the blind and disabled persons, was holding a 'Blind Pinkathon' marathon in Bengaluru tomorrow.

According to the suit, since 2012 the plaintiffs have been organising India's biggest women's marathon 'Pinkathon' periodically to raise awareness about breast cancer and other women related health issues.

The inaugural Pinkathon event was held in December 2012 in Mumbai with over 2000 runners. In 2013, the Pinkathon event was organised in four cities - Bengaluru, Delhi, Mumbai and Pune - each of which had between 3000 to 6000 participants.

Over the next two years several more cities were included in the list like Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Guwahati and Chennai. "Over the last four years, the word, trademark and brand Pinkathon has gained tremendous reputation and goodwill and has come to be associated with the plaintiffs.

Hence the plaintiffs have made applications to the concerned authority for registration of the trademark 'Pinkathon'," the suit said. When the suit was heard, the high court suggested both the parties to work out an amicable solution.

Following this, the defendant NGO's chief functionary Dr D K Paul made a statement to HC that IDL Foundation would cancel its marathon scheduled to be held in Bengaluru pending hearing of the suit.

Justice Shriram accepted this statement and also directed the defendant NGO to not hold any event using the word 'Pinkathon' unless they give not less than 30 days notice to the plaintiffs.

The plaintiffs had sought direction to the defendant NGO to not use the word 'Pinkathon' for their marathon and to pay a sum of Rs 25 lakh as damages caused to them.


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