Kiwi burger chain BurgerFuel has forced a North Indian fast food franchise to change its branding after it used a remarkably similar logo and advertising to the New Zealand company.
The Indian restaurants are the latest in a string of copycat operations around the world that bear a striking likeness to BurgerFuel.
The Burger Club, based in New Delhi, has very similar branding to BurgerFuel, an uncannily close logo, uses the same colour schemes and its slogan - "engineering big juicy burgers" - is reminiscent of one BurgerFuel uses: "engineering the ultimate burger".
On its website, the Indian company markets itself as having "the best burgers in town from New Zealand".
The Burger Club even had a "Kiwi Burger" on its menu during summer in India, kumara fries are a permanent feature, and it gives out doofers - BurgerFuel's trademarked cardboard burger holders - with its orders.
Author Karl Rock, an Aucklander living in New Delhi, stumbled across what he describes as the "counterfeit" fast food outlet in June.
"I just googled the best burgers in Delhi and this was one of the places that people recommended, and it was near my house, so I decided to go there and when I got there I was blown away by how similar everything was to New Zealand and to BurgerFuel in New Zealand," Rock said.
"I just knew it was totally ripped off ... it's too obvious when you put everything together."
The Herald has been unable to make contact with the owners of The Burger Club.
The burger chain operates at least three stores in India.
BurgerFuel Worldwide is a dual ASX/NZX listed company, founded by Chris Mason in 1995 with an outlet in Ponsonby Rd. He is now the US master franchise licensee.
The company operates more than 80 BurgerFuel stores throughout New Zealand, Australia, the Middle East and one in the US.
A spokesman for BurgerFuel told the Herald the company had been in contact with The Burger Club's owners, who had since removed items that infringed BurgerFuel's intellectual property.
"A lot of their new branding, you can see on their website is purple, but no longer has the BurgerFuel wings logo or the doofer," said Alexis Lam, BurgerFuel chief marketing officer.
BurgerFuel has trademark registrations in more than 60 markets.
"Some countries pay little attention to trademark ownership. We do, however, feel in this particular case they are progressively removing our intellectual property as agreed," Lam said.
This is not the first time BurgerFuel has been alerted to offshore counterfeit operations. It has seen trademark registration attempts in Korea, pop-up shops in Sri Lanka, name stealing in Malaysia and BurgerFuel wings logos in Vanuatu, through to straight copying and pasting of excerpts from its website.
"BurgerFuel has a pretty unique brand in the industry so we get referenced and copied a lot," Lam said. "It's an ongoing problem that we and many other famous brands face on a daily basis."
Rock, 33, moved to India in 2016 after he was made redundant from his IT job. He wrote a book for tourists visiting India and now makes YouTube videos for a living.
"You don't see anything from New Zealand over in India so when I saw this I was like 'holy c***', what is this doing here," he said.
Rock said he believed the owner of the franchise could have been a student in New Zealand. "[The owner] was probably a student who studied here and loved BurgerFuel and after studying took it back there, that would be my guess."