Global e-commerce giant Amazon has taken on Indian titan Reliance Industries led by Mukesh Ambani, to prevent the sale of Big Bazaar owner Future Retail to Reliance. The case has been going on since 2020, when Amazon sought to block the Future Retail-Reliance deal, based on a 49 per cent stake in a firm that holds a 9 per cent stake in Future Retail. But while Amazon is locked in the high-profile legal battle, a small bakery in Bengaluru has defeated it in court.
The local business called Happy Belly Bakes had been established in 2008, and had been using the trademark. Four years back, it filed a lawsuit against Amazon for selling bakery items, snacks and dairy, using the same brand name. The women-run business with 30 employees had registered the Happy Belly trademark in 2010 after starting off as Regalar.
The bakery started receiving calls in 2016, inquiring if their products were available on Amazon. But the e-commerce giant’s website showed that Happy Belly was Amazon’s own brand for selling bakery products. Tootsie LLC had filed the trademark application on behalf of the e-commerce firm, and contested that while Happy Belly Bakes was only operating in Bengaluru, Amazon sold the products globally.
Slammed for arrogance
After a four-year-long court battle, a civil court delivered the verdict in favour of Happy Belly Bakes, and said that the contention of the defendants reflected arrogance. Terming the logo as deceptively similar, the court ordered Amazon to remove items sold under the trademark from its online marketplace.
Earlier this month Amazon suffered another legal blow in the US, where a labour official recommended that its appeal against a workers’ union vote that formed its first organised warehouse, should be rejected.