The family feud among the owners of one of the country's major bicycle manufacturers, Hero Cycles stat began in 2010 has taken a turn for the worse with one of them accusing another of using the Hero brand name.
When the company was split in May 2010 it was decided its name Hero Cycles could be used only by Om Prakash Munjal, one of the four Munjal brothers who had established the Hero group in Ludhiana in 1956 while the other divided units of the family have to use other names.
Vijay Munjal, who got a part of the company's assets during its division named his new firm HeroEcotech Ltd, whose Kross brand of bicycles is popular among bikers.
On Tuesday evening officials of Hero Cycles along with the police conducted raids at the Gill Road bicycle market, claiming dealers of HeroEcotech cycles were "misguiding"customers by telling them the products were manufactured by Hero Cycles.
Ashok Bawa, publicity manager at Hero Cycles, said: "HeroEcotech, which is owned by Vijay Munjal, is marketing its products under the Kross brand name and is illegally using the Hero trade name alongside the Kross brand. By doing so HeroEcotech is not only violating the trademark and copyrights of Hero Cycles but also cheating customers by misrepresenting its products as those of Hero Cycles. The courts have already passed various injunctions on the use of the Hero trademark that can only be used by Hero Cycles, a company owned by Om Prakash Munjal".
After a formal complaint filed by Hero Cycles on Tuesday, the police undertook raids at many stores and seized bicycles manufactured by HeroEcotech. "This misuse and misrepresentation of the Hero trade name amounts to contempt of the order issued on March 21 this year by the Patna district court. This may entail punitive action against senior officials of HeroEcotech," Bawa added.
On the other hand Gaurav Munjal, son of Vijay Munjal and managing director of HeroEcotech, said: "It's clear this a preplanned move to tarnish the company's image as it is giving tough competition to Hero Cycles in the quality of its products. We use the Kross and not the Hero brand name for our bicycles, which are different and superior in quality. We also plan to initiate legal action against the action taken against us."