Hero MotoCorp and Hero Electric are two separate companies – Both are involved in a legal battle
It may be recalled that Hero Electric had sought an injunction against Hero MotoCorp from use of the trademark ‘Hero’ for its electric vehicles. The issue was referred to the Delhi High Court last year by Vijay Munjal, along with his son Naveen Munjal, who owns Hero Electric, the largest electric two-wheeler company.
This legal battle was against his cousin Pawan Munjal, Promoter and Chairman of Hero MotoCorp, claiming that the company had exclusive ownership rights of the ‘Hero’ brand for its upcoming lineup of its electric and eco-friendly products. In a recent ruling by the Delhi High Court, Hero MotoCorp has been granted permission to use the ‘Hero ’trademark for selling its electric vehicle lineup.
Hero Moto Vs Hero Electric – Ruling
The tribunal, which consisted of former Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and retired judges Indu Malhotra and Indermeet Kaur observed that Hero MotoCorp had claimed the use of ‘Hero’ for its upcoming electric vehicle lineup since 2012. The company is now close to launch of its electric vehicles under brand name ‘Vida – powered by Hero’.
Hero MotoCorp’s Vida brand will house all electric vehicle initiatives and the company has even filed a patent for names such as Vida, Vida MotoCorp, Vida EV, Vida Electric, Vida Scooters and Vida Motorcycles for its EV endeavor.
The Tribunal took into account the fact that Hero MotoCorp had spent over Rs 7,000 crores to enhance goodwill and gain reputation of the ‘Hero’ brand over the past 10 years as compared to Rs 65 crores which had been invested by the Naveen Munjal Group to promote ‘Hero Electric’.
The Tribunal also noted that Hero MotoCorp had also made hefty investments to the tune of Rs 400 crores into their VIDA project along with investments made in Ather Energy, the Bengaluru based company for its fast charging technology. Hero owns 38 percent in this company and both firms are developing fast charging infrastructure.
Good News For Hero MotoCorp
This ruling will boost Hero MotoCorp’s confidence, ahead of the launch of their first electric scooter later this year. Imagine if Hero Moto had to sell their electric scooters without the brand Hero or their existing dealership network. That would have been a nightmare for the No 1 motorcycle brand in the world.
As much as this is good news for Hero MotoCorp, it is bad news for Hero Electric, who is one of the leading electric scooter manufacturer in India. By default, most in the country mean Hero MotoCorp, when they refer to a Hero vehicle. Even today, there are people who think Hero Electric and Hero MotoCorp are the same company.
If the arrival of new EV rivals like Ola, Ather was not enough, they will have a new problem at hand once Hero MotoCorp launches their range of Hero Vida electric scooters and motorcycles. Hero MotoCorp was scheduled to launch their first electric scooter in July. But parts shortage has forced them to delay the launch to later this year.