‘Not competing with Kerala’: Karnataka hints at still using KSRTC


With Kerala winning the ‘KSRTC’ trademark after a seven year legal battle, Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister, Lakshman Savadi on Thursday said that the state government would not like to make it a prestige issue but hinted at continuing to use the trademark.

The Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation and its Kerala counterpart were locked in a legal battle over the acronym KSRTC for the past seven years, as both their buses and websites were using it.

Savadi, who holds the Transport Ministry, told reporters that there is no harm if the same acronym is used as both transport corporations aren’t fighting a trade battle.

Noting the state government is yet to receive the judgement copy that is delivered by the Controller General of Patents Design and Trade Marks under the Union Commerce Ministry, he said: “Until then, the question of taking a legal course does not arise. Let everyone know that both transport corporations are not fighting a corporate battle here… we both are government organisations and our motto is to serve the people without causing any trouble.”

He added that within the federal structure, both states will have to abide by the decisions given by judicial or quasi-judicial authorities.

“Both states’ intention is to set up such a corporation is to provide subsidised public transport and with an intention to connect every village within their respective states. We both states have never competed in this sector nor we (at least Karnataka) intend to,” he said.

In 2012, the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation had requested its Kerala counterpart to refrain from using the name KSRTC after obtaining a trademark on the name from the Trade Marks Registry.

Karnataka’s RTC has a two-headed mythical bird ‘Gandabherunda’ generally portrayed in temple motifs as clutching elephants in its talons. Kerala RTC’s logo referred to as ‘Aanavandi’ also has two elephants on its logo. Kerala RTC had started using it much before neighbouring Karnataka but Karnataka had got the name registered with the Trademark Registry in 2012.

Contesting this claim, the Kerala RTC had filed an objection with the Controller General of Patents Design and Trade Marks in 2014 and won this claim on Wednesday.

The Kerala State Road Transport Corporation is one of the oldest public transport utilities in the country. The Travancore State Transport Department was re-established as the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation on April 1, 1965.

In Karnataka, it was started as the Mysore Government Road Transport Department and became the Karnataka Transport Corporation in 1973.