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Hero MotoCorp and Gogoro’s agreement escalated into family squabbles

In April 2021, Hero MotoCorp and Gogoro announced a partnership agreement under which the Powered by Gogoro electric vehicle battery exchange network will be deployed in India. Then, in May, a trademark application was filed with the Indian Intellectual Property Office, indicating that the Gogoro Viva electric scooter will soon be on sale in the Indian market. But, as often happens in the modern world, in different markets, products of the same manufacturer can be produced under different brands, and it is likely that Gogoro scooters will enter the Indian market under a partner brand.

Hero or Hero?

According to Naveen Munjal, Managing Director of Hero Electric, Hero MotoCorp would like to use the name Hero for its defunct electric scooter line, which will likely include Viva. However, the fact is that Hero Electric and Hero MotoCorp are different companies, even though they are both run by members of the Munjal family. At the same time, Hero Electric already produces electric bikes under the Hero brand and does not want competitors to produce similar products under the same name.

The larger Hero MotoCorp, run by Pavan Munjal, Navin’s uncle, was previously engaged in ICE motorcycles and is now looking to enter the electric vehicle market. However, Hero Electric, according to Navin, has the right to defend the ability to exclusively use the Hero name for its models. Anyone, Navin believes, can manufacture and sell an electric two-wheeler, but the right to release it under the Hero name belongs exclusively to Hero Electric.

Of course, the relationship between the leaders of the two Heroes gives the situation a spice:

Back in 2010, when we restructured our business, we in our family clearly agreed on the use of brands. We agreed that we would leave each other the right to compete in certain industries, but we strictly agreed not to compete in the use of brands, ”Navin said in an interview.

That being said, Hero MotoCorp is gearing up to launch its first electric motorcycle under the Hero brand in March 2022. On the part of Hero Electric, Navin threatens with a lawsuit to protect his rights to use the Hero name in the field of electric transport, the environment and a number of other industries. He added that “the agreement was very clearly formulated, without any possibility of ambiguous interpretations”

A spokesman for Hero MotoCorp said the company is aware of Hero Electric’s claims and “will use all its capabilities within the legal framework”

What this will result in as a result, we can only guess.

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