Kerala and Karnataka Transport Corporations fight for the name ‘KSRTC’

The Kerala State Road Transport Corporation which is bleeding bad on the fiscal front has on its hands another crisis to battle: Protecting the trademark — KSRTC — from its Karnataka counterpart, also known under the same acronym.

The Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation has reportedly asked Kerala to refrain from using the name KSRTC after obtaining a trademark on the name from the Trade Marks Registry under the Ministry of Industry. Kerala pooh-poohed Karnataka’s claims and asserted that it would not give in to any such demand.


Karnataka’s RTC has on it’s logo Gandaberunda, a two-headed mythical bird, generally depicted in temple motifs as clutching elephants in its talons. Kerala RTC, referred to as ‘Aanavandi’ has two elephants on its logo. Transport Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan asserted that the Centre cannot sanction the trademark as Kerala had started using it much before than the neighbouring state. “If a trademark to be issued, first it should be published to make sure that there are no objections. We have not been asked for our opinion,” Thiruvanchoor said.

KSRTC CMD Antony Chacko said they recieved an official communication from Karnataka two weeks ago. “If Karnataka persists with the demand, we will approach the court. Government bodies usually do not go for trademark registration,” he said. Karnataka had approached the Trademark Registry in 2012 and had got the name registered within a month.

Kerala officials said Karnataka’s arguments will not stand before the law as they had been using the trademark for many years.

“Simply because Kerala didn’t approach the Trademark Registry, how can they say it doesn’t belong to us? Karnataka started using the title almost 10 years after we started using it,” an official said.

The Kerala RTC officials are planning to file an objection with the Intellectual Property Appellate Board.

Source: New Indian Express