Trademarkclick .com 7 Jul 2017


After Taj Mahal Palace acquiring an Image Trademark, now symbolic blue striped white cotton sari worn by Mother Teresa has been trademarked by the Missionaries of Charity.  The use of the trademark makes the pattern prohibited for any financial use in stationery, textiles, social and charitable services.

The application to Trademark the famous uniform was made in December 2013 and the patterns were declared a Trademark in 2016, 10 months before Mother Teresa was declared a Saint by the Pope.

Several incidents of people profiting from the products using the pattern made the organisation take a stand. In one incident, somebody misused the trademark and received money from a donor in Mumbai. There are also people selling mementos and memorabilia with the Trademark and buyers feel that the proceeds are going to the Missionaries of Charity.

The simple motive behind acquiring this Trademark was to protect the identity of the organisation. Mother Teresa had bought the plain white, blue-patterned saris from M. G. Road in Kolkata in 1948. The border of the sari had two small blue stripes followed by a wider stripe. She got it blessed by Father Van Exem at the Sacristy of the Convent Chapel. Similar kinds of saris are now woven by leprosy patients of the Gandhiji Prem Niwas and are worn by nuns across the world.“It is important to note that Mother Teresa, before her death, had issued directives that her name should not be exploited for commercial purposes. Nor did she wish to be institutionalized.

To fulfil her wish, we conceptualized the idea of protecting the distinctive blue pattern on the white saris worn by the nuns of Missionaries of Charity, under Intellectual Property Rights. Missionaries of Charity will have the exclusive right to use the said blue pattern… It is the first time ever that a Uniform has been protected under Intellectual Property Rights,” said Advocate Biswajit Sarkar who was working with the Missionaries of Charity. Such unscrupulous and unfair usage of the said blue pattern was very rampant across the globe. Now that this has been protected under the Intellectual Property Laws (Trade Mark Act-1999), such unfair usage can be stopped.

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