Mother Teresa’s iconic withe and blue saree pattern, that the world came to associate with her identity is now a trademark design, misuse of which will lead to prosecution, reported Indian Express. The pattern, worn by the nuns of the Missionary, is now a registered trademark with the government of India’s Trade Marks Registry.
According to the report, an advocate working with the Missionaries of Charity (MoC) today said that the blue-coloured border has been protected under intellectual property laws. The Missionaries of Charity was found by Mother Teresa, who was canonised as Saint Teresa in September last year.
“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 institutionalised. To fulfil her wish, we conceptualised 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, according to the Indian Express report.
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Though the pattern was registered as a trademark for textile, stationery, social and charitable services in September last year, it was only recently made public after incidents of plagiarism picked up heat.
“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,” suggested a Times of India report.