Court grants relief to Unilever's India unit over 'Glow & Handsome' trademark

FILE PHOTO: A pedestrian walks past the Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) headquarters in Mumbai January 19, 2015. Hindustan Unilever Ltd, the Indian unit of Anglo-Dutch consumer group Unilever Plc , reported an 18 percent rise in quarterly profit, beating estimates, helped by a revival in consumer spending and lower raw material costs. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

BENGALURU (Reuters) - An Indian court has directed consumer goods maker Emami Ltd EMAM.NS to give bigger rival Hindustan Unilever Ltd HLL.NS seven days notice before initiating legal proceedings over the 'Glow & Handsome' trademark, according to a July 6 order here.

The Indian arm of global consumer giant Unilever ULVR.L said on July 2 it would rebrand its skin-lightening cream 'Fair & Lovely' to 'Glow & Lovely'.

The company said its skin cream for men will be called ‘Glow & Handsome’, but Emami said it had launched ‘Glow & Handsome’ digitally one week before HUL announced the name change.

Hindustan Unilever first applied for the trademarks, ‘Glow & Lovely’ and ‘Glow & Handsome’ in September 2018, application for which was rejected in 2019, and re-applied in June 2020, the company said in a petition to the high court in the western state of Maharashtra.

Hindustan Unilever and Emami did not respond to requests for comment and the court has set July 27 as the next hearing date.

The decision to rebrand its line of skin creams came after Hindustan Unilever faced criticism that the name ‘Fair & Lovely’ promoted negative stereotypes towards darker skin tones.