Britannia starts legal action on Danone over Tiger

Britannia starts legal action on Danone over Tiger


New Delhi: The fight between Britannia Industries and Danone over intellectual property rights of Tiger brand of biscuits has finally reached court with the Indian firm initiating legal action against the French food giant in Singapore.

“Based on legal advice and under the direction of its IPR committee, Britannia has initiated legal action against Groupe Danone in Singapore pertaining to Tiger IPR," Britannia said in a statement.

When contacted, a Danone spokesperson said it had a different position from Britannia regarding the IPR of Tiger.

“We have tried to find a solution amicably. So a third party as a judge will be welcome to arbitrate," the Danone spokesperson said.

Meanwhile, Britannia said its chairman Nusli Wadia resigned yesterday (19 September) from the IPR panel to ensure there was no conflict of interest in dealing with Tiger IPR matter and talks between Wadia Group and Danone over shareholder issues.

The IPR committee will now be headed by Vijay Kelkar, an independent director. It will consist of Britannia managing director Vinita Bali and two other independent directors Nimesh Kampani and Keki Dadiseth.

The IPR Committee was created in May 2006 to deal with all IPR matters of the company and for the last year has been working to resolve the issue of use and registration of Tiger brand by Groupe Danone in several countries without the consent of Britannia Board, the company said.

Recently, Danone had sold its global biscuits business to Kraft Foods except in India, where it is one of the promoters of Britannia. Wadia and Danone hold almost equal stake in Britannia through UK-based Associated Biscuits International Holding.