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Copycat bat sparks row

cricket Updated: Jul 29, 2009 23:58 IST
G Krishnan
G Krishnan
Hindustan Times
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When there is a successful innovation, imitation is rarely far away. That's exactly what has happened with cricket's latest toy, the Mongoose bat. As soon as the Marylebone Cricket Club declared the bats legal a company in India has found the necessary information on the web and begun to manufacture its own version of the T20 stick.

Dan Bradshaw, chief executive of Mongoose Cricket Ltd., is in talks with his lawyers in India to initiate take legal action against Mumbai-based Ashraf Brothers, who have begun manufacturing Mongoose bats in India.

“What he (Aslam Chaudhry of Ashraf Brothers) has done, copying one of our bats, is illegal. You really can't do it,” Bradshaw told the Hindustan Times from England. “We have appointed lawyers in India who will write to Chaudhary that these bats are protected under law.”

But Chaudhry sees it differently.

“I have not copied their style. I have made the bat by looking at photos,” he told HT. “They have not given me details. Also, I have not taken any credit for the bat. It is his (Bradshaw's) design, his baby.”

As for the threat of legal action, Chaudhry said he had not “received any communication from Mongoose's lawyers,” and that if something came to him he would answer.

The bat, with a blade that's 33 per cent shorter than conventional models and a handle that is 43 per cent longer, is protected legally under three sections, said Bradshaw.

“I sensed something like this (illegally copying the model) will happen. That's why we had everything registered,” said Bradshaw. “Firstly, there is a patent pending. Secondly, there is a trademark registration that protects the name Mongoose and the logo. Thirdly, there is design registration that protects the look of the bat. Using all three gives us complete protection.

“Aslam has been very blatant about the fact that he surfed the internet and made the bat. He has looked at our bats and made them.”

While the legal action will take its course, Bradshaw said the bat would be launched in India in early 2010.

“We are negotiating with a bat manufacturer in Meerut. India is an important market for us. Our medium-term plan is to have a made-in-India Mongoose bat and a distributor in India,” Bradshaw said.

While no Indian player has signed a long-term contract to use the bat in T20s, Bradshaw said negotiations were on with several batsmen as his product was ideally “suited to Indian pitches where the ball tends to stay lower.”

Australian Stuart Law, New Zealander Lou Vincent and West Indian Dwayne Smith have already used this bat in competition.