From Our Committees

An Entrepreneur’s Journey to Protect IP: KITCHENRAMA

Published: October 31, 2022

Vikas Suri has been in business for nearly four decades, working with various international restaurants to build their brands in Asia. In the mid-1990s, Mr. Suri decided to launch a new business in India providing food service equipment.

Mr. Suri set out to find the optimal name for his new business. He wanted a name with a meaning that resonated with the business he wanted to create, was distinctive enough to be registrable as a trademark, and sounded attractive. After much thought Mr. Suri decided on KITCHENRAMA. Lord Rama is an important avatar in the Hindu religion, and there is a large annual festival associated with him. Mr. Suri had many happy memories of such festivals and the delicious food served at them. He thought the combination of KITCHEN and RAMA created an enticing brand.

Mr. Suri knew that to future-proof his business and protect his customers, he needed to make sure he could stop other people from using the same or a similar name. A new business always has competing demands for its budget, but Mr. Suri decided to prioritize finding an intellectual property firm to help him obtain an Indian trademark registration for KITCHENRAMA.

The Kitchenrama business prospered, and all was going well until one day Mr. Suri was contacted by a customer asking why he had not responded to their emails. Mr. Suri was surprised as he always diligently dealt with customer emails. He checked his junk folders and couldn’t find the email. He asked the customer to send him a screenshot of the email and was shocked to see the email was going to (with a double “m”) rather than

Mr. Suri contacted his intellectual property lawyers, and they sent a letter to, demanding it stop using the brand, which initially ignored. However, ultimately it agreed to stop using the name once Mr. Suri filed a trademark infringement action in court.

He offers this advice for other entrepreneurs:

  • Choose a trademark that can be registered and that gives you the legal right to stop someone using it for the same or similar products or services. This includes choosing the right sort of trademark—nothing too descriptive on the one hand, or so unusual on the other, that it doesn’t resonate with customers. Also, before committing to it, conduct a trademark search to confirm that no one else already has the rights to it.
  • Work with intellectual property lawyers. Getting this part of your business right at an early stage in your business’s development gives you peace of mind and a strong foundation from which to develop your business reputation and goodwill.
  • Keep alert in your field—make sure you’d find out if someone else uses your trademark in an infringing way.
  • Take action if you need to do so to protect your customers and your business from damaging confusion.
  • Reconsider your trademark position periodically. Businesses grow and evolve. Trademarks are not just something to select at the beginning of your business and then ignore. Periodically review your business and check that your trademark portfolio covers the right trademarks, for the right products/services, and in the right countries

In the light of Mr. Suri’s experience, as a trademark owner it makes sense to:

  1. Put a commercial watch in place so that you are alerted to potential issues;
  2. keep an eye on the marketplace for potential infringement; and
  3. if you come across any potential infringements, seek legal advice as soon as possible.

Produced by the Public Information Committee.

Although every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of this article, readers are urged to check independently on matters of specific concern or interest.

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