Founding Families Of Kwality Ice Creams Are Facing A Legal Meltdown
Following a recent feud among the promoting family of Vadilal Ice Creams, famous ice cream chain Kwality is also making headlines along the same course. Ravi Ghai, son of Iqbal Ghai, who founded the `Kwality’ brand, has taken his father’s former business partner, P.L. Lamba, to court, claiming that the Lambas illegally reassigned the intellectual property of the brand to another company.
Promoter of Mumbai based Graviss Holding which owns InterContinental Hotel at Marine Drive in Mumbai, apart from restaurant chain Zaffran, frozen yoghurt chain 6th Street Yogurt, delicatessen store Meats & More and a joint venture with American frozen food maker Rich Products Corporation to produce non-dairy whip topping in addition to managing the Indian franchise for international ice-cream chain Baskin Robbins.
Law & Order
The accusation made by Ravi Ghai states that the Lambas sold the copyright of Kwality’s artistic work of the word ‘Kwality’ to Delhi-based dairy enterprise Kwality Ltd in August.
Ghai argued that he had given the Lambas limited rights over the trademark use for ice cream and iced dollies in North India. And this did not in any way entitle them to “further assign the same in favour of any third party,” lawyer Rajiv Nayar argued for the company.
Last month the court ordered Kwality Ltd. and Lambas to not use the brand until further notice.
P.L. Lamba’s son Sunil Lamba declined any involvement in the case saying that his son was handling the matter.
Lambas sold the rights to use Kwality artwork to Kwality Ltd. in order to sell milk products and non-alcoholic beverages. Founded in 1992, Kwality Ltd sells dairy products under its brand `Dairy Best’.
Ost the artwork deal, the company even assigned Akshay Kumar as its brand ambassador. V.P. Garg, Director, corporate at the Graviss Group, asserted that Kwality Ltd had not implemented the high court order yet. “We might have to file a contempt of court notice against them,” Economic Times quotes him.
What The Lambas Really Own
Food entrepreneurs Iqbal Ghai and P.L. Lamba started off in 1940 by selling handmade ice-creams under the `Kwality’ brand in pre-Independence Delhi. Later they opened iconic fine dining chains under the Gaylord and Kwality brands in India and overseas which, currently P.L. Lamba’s son is running.
The family business (Lamba married Ghai’s sister) was split in 1979 with the holding rights of the `Kwality’ brand lying with the Ghais.
Lamba landed up with the regional rights for the brand in the northern region, while the regional rights for south and east were given to two other individuals. According to Garg, these rights were limited to manufacturing ice cream and ice cream on sticks for the respective territories.
In 1994, Hindustan Unilever bought the trademark for ice cream and ice cream on sticks under the Kwality brand, while the copyright in the artistic work remained with Graviss, Garg said.