Coca-Cola Threatens to Sue Lensman for "Creative" Billboard
New Delhi: Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages, the Indian arm of US cola
major, has threatended to sue noted photographer Sharad Haksar for
infringement of its trademark.
Haksar, a reputed photographer and winner of Cannes 2005 Silver Lion
award, had placed a large billboard in Chennai highlighting severe
water shortages being experienced by communities that live around
Coca-Cola bottling plants.
Though Haksar claims that his "work is solely an expression of creativity",
Coca-Cola has charged the lensman for infringement of its trade mark.
When contacted, a Coca-Cola spokesperson told PTI: "We issued Haksar
a legal notice for infringement of Coca-Cola India trade mark." "But
at the same time, both sides are talking to each other to resolve
the issue amicably. We talked to Haksar even today," the spokesperson
Law firm Daniel & Gladys, which represent Coca-Cola India, had sent
a letter to Haksar on July 11 threatening him with serious legal action
unless the billboard was replaced unconditionally and immediately,
India Resource Centre, an international campaigning organisation,
said in an e-mailed statement from London.
Coca-Cola would seek Rs 20 lakh (45,000 dollar) for "incalculable
damage" to the goodwill and reputation of the MNC, the statement said,
adding the Cola major also sought "unconditional apology in writing".
Haksar, who put out the billboard featuring Coca-Cola's wall painting
along with a photo of a dry water hand-pump with empty vessels waiting
to be filled with water, is quoted as saying that he has "no intention
of issuing any apology.
FAIR USE NOTICE. This document contains copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. India Resource Center is making this article available in our efforts to advance the understanding of corporate accountability, human rights, labor rights, social and environmental justice issues. We believe that this constitutes a 'fair use' of the copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Law. If you wish to use this copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use,' you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.