OFB employees demand action against Adani Group for violating Patent Act & showing army uniform at Police Expo
ADAC – a subsidiary of Adani Enterprises Limited, has misled the nation and violated the Patents Act 1970 by displaying army battlefield dress and logo at Police Expo-22, alleged OFB employees
Adani Defence and Aerospace Company (ADAC) – a subsidiary of Adani Enterprises Limited, owned by Gautam Adani, has misled the nation and violated the Patents Act 1970 by displaying army battlefield dress and logo at Police Expo-22, alleged Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) employees.
Founded during the time of British rule, the OFB which comprised 41 ordnance factories was dissolved by the Modi government last year.
All the 41 factories were later merged into seven Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSU). The merger plan laid out by the Modi government faced stiff resistance from the employees.
It is noteworthy that India's OFB has a workforce of about 80 thousand employees. It is also the second largest defence manufacturer in Asia.
OFB sources told NH that Adani Group had set up a pavilion at the recently held Police Expo-22 and displayed products including small arms, battlefield army logo uniform, claiming that ADAC is “India’s first small arms manufacturer” which is not only misleading but stands in the contravention of Consumer Protection Act 2019 also.
AIDEF – the largest OFB employees union has raised the issue with the Defence Ministry, after the matter came into light and reiterated that Arms Factory Kanpur is the oldest manufacturer of small arms.
The Kanpur Factory has been manufacturing small arms since 1942 and Ordnance Factory Trichy has been producing small arms from 1966 onwards. Another small arms factory was established in Korwa in 2007, said the AIDEF, seeking action against the Adani Group.
“Ministry of Defence, being the owner of the Ordnance Factories, may take appropriate legal action in accordance with provision of Consumer Protection Act 2019 and under The Patents Act 1970,” demanded AIDEF.
Highlighting that “this is a clear violation of Section 2(28) of the Consumer Protection Act 2019 on misleading advertisement and violation of Section 89 which seeks punishment for false or misleading advertisement” C Srikumar, general secretary of AIDEF said, “It is amply clear that the Adani’s company has violated the above Acts by giving a false/incorrect information /advertisement to the public stating”.
OFB employees also alleged that Adani’s defence venture has displayed battlefield army logo uniform textile fabric which is designed by the Ordnance Clothing Factory, Avadi (Chennai) without taking permission from MoD.
Notably, displayed design and pattern are registered as Design No. 293311 on 03.05.2017 with a copy right up to 2027 with The Controller General of Patents, Design and Trademarks, GoI.
This is the second time when patent rules were violated by the private entities, said Srikumar.
In January this year when a new combat dress was unveiled for the Army, it was found that NIFT (designed new combat dress) has changed the pattern to bypass the patent rules.
NH had published a detailed report on January 26, exposing how NIFT changed the design and pattern to bypass ordnance factory’s patent.
Sources at the OFB said that an email was also sent to the Adani group by the OFB, flagging the issue but the Group “maintained silence”.
NH has also reached out to the PRO, Adani Group, seeking their comment. This report will be updated if and when we receive any reply from the Adani Group.
Meanwhile, The Print has claimed that the Army is expected to file for Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) over its new digital-pattern uniform. The new design will be rolled out by 2025, claimed the news portal, citing sources.