Companies call other companies out all the time over theft of high-tech IP, patented software, and proprietary algorithms. But these Indian companies are going at it over similar packaging on their biscuits.
FMCG giant ITC has filed a case against fellow FMCG giant Britannia over the the latter’s digestive biscuits’ packaging design. ITC claims that the blue and yellow packaging that Britannia is using for its “Nutrichoice” range has been copied from ITC’s own Sunfeast range of digestive biscuits.
Other than the colours on the packet, ITC claims that the product benefits listed on Britannia’s packets are also inspired by ITC. While ITC’s says “No added sugar and maida”, Britannia goes one up and says “0% added sugar and maida”, and also says “high fibre”.
ITC is seeking damages for alleged violation of trademark and copyright and for Britannia to pull back the biscuits with the said packaging. For now, the Delhi High Court has restrained Britannia from selling these biscuits.
And while Britannia has agreed to do away with the blue, it’s gone ahead and reverse-sued ITC for using the yellow in its packaging.
One could see why ITC would get rattled over Britannia’s packaging. To an average consumer, without any real indistinguishable features between the biscuits, it would be easy to get confused between the two brands. And in the FMCG industry, packaging is everything – there’s a 500 crore market at stake.
That’s how the FMCG cookie crumbles.