he traditional symbol or logo of Kodavas and other original inhabitants of Kodagu comprising ‘Peeche Kathi’, ‘Odi Kathi’ and a gun (that have been used for centuries) placed in a particular and unique way to form a logo has been trademarked by Kodavamera Kondata, Madikeri, Kodagu district.
A trademark is a brand name specifying the unique characteristics of a product of any organisation. It is a symbol, phrase, logo or group of letters and numerals representing the uniqueness of a product or an organisation. Improper use of trademarked symbols can lead to legal hardship.
The Kodavamera Kondata is a society registered under the Karnataka Societies Registration Act, of 1960 and the trademark has been registered under the Trade Marks Registry, Mumbai, Government of India, as per procedures enlisted in the Trade Marks Act 1999.
Accordingly, the certificate of registration has been awarded to Kodavamera Kondata on May 14, 2023, by the Registrar of Trademarks. Trademark registration prevents misuse of the logo and now, it can be used only by Kodavas and 21 communities.
The other communities who have been permitted to use the logo are Amma Kodavas, Airi, Banna, Baniya, Boonepatta, Golla, Kodava Heggade, Kaniya, Kapala, Kembatti, Koleya, Koyava, Kodava Hajama, Kodava Nayar, Panika, Marangi, Madivala, Maliya, Meda, Malekudiya and Nayanda.
Apart from these 22 communities, no one can use the logo and legal action can be taken against its misuse. In a letter to the DG&IGP Karnataka and Superintendent of Police, Kodagu, Kodavamera Kondata has informed the authorities that the organisation will legally prevent the misuse of the logo.
Speaking to Star of Mysore, Founder-President of Kodavamera Kondata Chamera Dinesh Belliappa said that the main purpose of obtaining the trademark for the logo was to prevent its rampant misuse.
“We have been seeing some vehicles involved in illegal activities like smuggling boldly sporting our traditional logo as often such vehicles having the logo are not stopped at the Kodagu district borders assuming that they are owned by community members,” he said.
Kodavas and the 21 communities are emotionally attached to the logo as it is a matter of pride to sport the logo and it hurts if it is misused, discrediting the community. “We applied for the trademark in 2020 and it has been granted after a long process, detailed inspection, examination, assessment of tradition, historical references, affidavits, representations and arguments of all 22 original inhabitants of Kodagu. The trademark is renewed every 10 years and the same process is followed,” he explained.