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World
11 Jul 2017

Mother Teresa's blue-bordered sari is now an intellectual property

Saint Teresa-founded Missionaries of Charity battles trademark infringement

The iconic blue-bordered sari, a staple of all nuns under the Missionaries of Charity, has been recognized as an intellectual property.

Intellectual Property attorney Biswajit Sarkar said that the Trade Marks Registry under Government of India had granted its registration on 4th September 2016, the very day when Mother Teresa was canonized making it unique to the order.

Here's all about it.

In context

Saint Teresa-founded Missionaries of Charity battles trademark infringement
What has been trademarked?

Missionaries of Charity

What has been trademarked?

The white sari, featuring three blue borders, the outer border wider than the rest, has been part of the official unifrom of Missionaries of Charity since 1948.

The registration of trade mark is of this particular pattern of the blue border in the sari. This was not publicized till date, as its authorities didn't believe in it. However, recent events have made it necessary.

Awareness

Why inform people now?

Recently, it has come to the notice of the institution that there has been "unscrupulous and unfair usage of the design across the globe", which is not only illegal but detrimental to the image of this institution.

Therefore, Missionaries of Charity is trying to raise awareness of the fact that the color and pattern are trademarked to dissuade others from using it.

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This patterned sari holds important significance for the order

Intellectual Property

This patterned sari holds important significance for the order

Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu came to India in 1929 as Sister Mary Teresa and then to Kolkata in 1948. The very same year she donned a blue striped white sari and wore them throughout her life.

Missionaries of Charity nuns subsequently adopted it as a uniform.

Their lawyer said that protection of a uniform under the Intellectual Property rights is a first.

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