Sony Entertainment Television’s ’Shark Tank India’ faces legal trouble over alleged trademark violations

  • Pathik Patel, the founder of Fit & Flex, has reportedly sent a legal notice to the channel, alleging that Sony Entertainment Television suspended its ad account without a just cause.

Livemint
Published25 Jun 2024, 09:10 AM IST
Pathik Patel, founder of Fit & Flex, voices his frustration over alleged unjust treatment by Sony Entertainment Television’s 'Shark Tank India,' citing trademark violations and suspension of ad account.
Pathik Patel, founder of Fit & Flex, voices his frustration over alleged unjust treatment by Sony Entertainment Television’s ’Shark Tank India,’ citing trademark violations and suspension of ad account.

Sony Entertainment Television's 'Shark Tank India,' launched in 2021 and now in its third season, continues to grapple with controversies. The latest fracas involves the founder of the nutritional food brand Fit & Flex, who has accused the channel of unfairly targeting it for trademark violations, The Indian Express reported.

Pathik Patel, the founder of Fit & Flex, has reportedly sent a legal notice to the channel, alleging that Sony Entertainment Television suspended its ad account without a just cause. In a LinkedIn post, Patel expressed his frustration, stating, “Feels really sad to see this, but wasn’t left with a choice either! It has been 50 days of zero D2C business and all we get to hear is ‘We won’t do anything’. We recently aired on Shark Tank S3 on the 15th of March which was a dream come true, but what followed has turned into a nightmare. Despite our joy at being featured on national television, our happiness was short-lived."

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Patel's alleged unfair targeting by Sony for trademark violations
further elaborated, “without any prior notice.”  His post said: "They have striked our social media posts containing clips from the Shark Tank episode and have gone ahead and blocked our Ad account, unpublished our Facebook page, and disabled the collaboration feature on our brand’s account as well as on my account".

 "Ideally we have aired in the episode, which we could use for marketing purposes for 3 months from the said date (as per their guidelines), but our content was pulled down within 25 days, after which we ceased to run all Shark Tank clips on organic as well as paid posts," Patel posted..

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Patel said Fit & Flex continued efforts to resolve the issue without any success.“We have been writing to both Meta and Sony daily since, to help us with a solution, but haven’t received any resolution. We don’t want to use any clips for marketing and just want our original accounts back. All we want is someone from the SONY Team to talk to us and help solve this amicably but sadly not a single party (Sony Legal or Shark Tank) chose to reply. Not only me but more than 70 plus brands are facing these challenges. While we were shown a bigger picture of getting up to 5X & 7X of growth, the Shark Tank experience has in fact got us a huge loss in business and a downfall of almost 10-12X." 

Patel expressed his disappointment as the founder of Fit and Flex, saying it was 
extremely disheartening to see that massive media houses are harassing startup brands.

Despite not securing a deal on the show, Patel's experience with 'Shark Tank India' was challenging. He faced intense scrutiny from judges Deepinder Goyal and Anupam Mittal. 

Reflecting on the experience, he shared on LinkedIn, “But as they say….partial knowledge is always more dangerous than NO knowledge! A 15-minute edited video can only showcase that much and hence will use my platforms to debunk some popular myths! As an athlete and health-conscious foodie myself, I have always been very sincere and true to my brand ethos and will not let a 15-minute clip raise questions about 5 years of my and my team’s hard work." 

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He concluded with a note on his entrepreneurial journey, stating, “As I continue on this entrepreneurial path, I carry with me the lessons learned from my Shark Tank India experience. It’s not just about seeking investment; it’s about seizing opportunities, embracing challenges, and never losing sight of the passion that fuels our journey." 

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First Published:25 Jun 2024, 09:10 AM IST
HomeCompaniesNewsSony Entertainment Television’s ’Shark Tank India’ faces legal trouble over alleged trademark violations

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