AYUSH ministry objects to HUL’s AYUSH brand

Government of India has raised objections to the use of AYUSH as a trademark, said Shripad Yesso Naik, minister of Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy.

The objection is based on the contention that the abbreviation for the ministry’s name is also AYUSH, and is used by the government in official communications and publications.

On the other side, AYUSH is a brand that was created by Hindustan Lever in 2001 to house its Ayurveda-based products. In a way, the company’s use of AYUSH predates the government’s use, as the department of AYUSH was formed in 2003, while the ministry of AYUSH was formed only in 2014.

“Government is aware that the name of a certain branded ayurvedic product resembles the name of the Ministry of AYUSH,” Naik said today, adding that the use of the brand may cause some confusion.

“The word AYUSH is an officially used acronym to denote Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy systems. Ministry does not manufacture, produce or sell any medicinal products.”

Hindustan Lever, which was subsequently renamed as Hindustan Unilever, resuscitated its AYUSH brand in 2015 to take on the threat posed by Patanjali Ayurved, lead by Baba Ramdev and Acharya Balkrishna.

Unilever has had much success with its AYUSH brand, and has launched several products such as toothpastes under the sub-brand.

However, said the government, it has now received complaints against the use of AYUSH name. Naik, however, did not reveal who or which company made the complaint.

Keeping in mind the complaint, said the minister, the Patent and Trade Marks office has been urged not to register AYUSH as a trade mark.

“Ministry of AYUSH, when received a complaint about alleged registration of trade mark “AYUSH” by a company, it was referred to Controller General of Patents, Designs & Trade Marks for not considering the (trade mark) application,” he added.