Both companies are now trying to sue one another over rightful ownership of the Fuel brand name in India, following VLCC’s announcement back in October last year that it would take legal action against L’Oreal.
The dispute is now about to hit the Delhi High Courts, and a hearing is expected in the next two weeks to determine who is the legitimate owner of the Fuel brand name in India, according to a report in The Economic Times.
Were the rights to the Fuel trademark sold twice?
VLCC has also hit New Delhi-based entrepreneur Mahesh Chehary with a lawsuit, claiming that it bought the trading rights to the Fuel name from him in 2006 after he trademarked the name in 2001.
The brand currently generates annual sales of Rs 1bn ($215m) per year for the range that includes hair gel, shaving products and deodorant, VLCC claims.
L’Oreal claims it also bought the trading rights to the name from the same entrepreneur in 2009, to promote its Fuel men’s skin care range.
L'Oreal ad campaign triggered lawsuit
The dispute kicked off in September last year when L’Oreal initiated a campaign to promote its Fuel skin care brand, essentially declaring itself the owner to the trading rights.
L’Oreal has pledged that it will do battle over ownership of the brand, and in a statement said that it takes any challenges to its brand ownership ‘very seriously’.
In recent years L’Oreal has been highly litigious worldwide in its battle against copy cat goods, while it has also taken E-Bay to court over the trading of counterfeit goods carrying its name.