Ayurvedic manufacturer restrained from using registered trademarks of Franco-Indian Pharmaceuticals
The Bombay high court (HC) last week restrained an Ayurvedic manufacturer, Green Cross Health Innovation, from using registered trademarks of Franco-Indian Pharmaceuticals Pvt Ltd; for trying to push the sale of its own products online while taking advantage of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) induced lockdown restrictions.
Franco-Indian Pharmaceuticals moved the court after one of its representatives noticed in early June that it’s trademark DIAVIT -- prescribed as supportive therapy for diabetics --was being used by Green Cross Health Innovation to sell an Ayurvedic formulation through various e-commerce sites.
The company alleged that the duplicate product was not available in the market before the Covid-19 outbreak was reported.
The firm informed the court that it has been manufacturing pharmaceutical products over the past six decades and has an estimated annual turnover of Rs 800 crore.
It also stated its strong presence not only in the domestic market, but also in other Asian and African countries.
The firm stated that DIAVIT is one of its registered trademarks, which is used for its multivitamin and multi-mineral formulations since 2000, and a brand extension called DIAVIT PLUS was launched in 2009.
Justice Gautam Patel found merit in the company’s allegation of infringement of its registered trademark and issued the restraining order.
The judge said the trademarks were identical in all respects.
“There’s no question about that — there is not just phonetic and linguistic similarity, but the defendant’s (Green Cross Health Innovation) adoption is identical in every way to the plaintiff’s (Franco-Indian Pharmaceuticals) DIAVIT mark. There’s no question, prima facie, of a likelihood of confusion. It’s inevitable,” he said.
“Thus, beyond the commercial considerations of trademark infringement and commercial loss, there’s public safety, health, and public law dimension,” he added.