Madras HC sets aside order restraining Patanjali from using ‘Coronil’ trademark

Our Bureau Chennai | Updated on February 06, 2021

Yoga guru Ramdev   -  PTI

Division Bench says no prima facie case of infringement; no monopoly on word

In a major relief to Patanjali Ayurved, a Division Bench — comprising Justices R Subbiah and C Saravanan — of the Madras High Court has set aside a Single Bench order restraining the company from using the trademark in relation to its immunity booster product ‘Coronil’.

On August 5, 2020, Justice Karthikeyan refused to vacate an injunction restraining Patanjali from using the term ‘Coronil’ to market its immunity-boosting tablets amidst the Covid-19 pandemic. On July 17, the court had granted an interim injunction in favour of Chennai-based Arudra Engineering Pvt Ltd, which had registered the trademark for Coronil-92 B in 1993 as an acid inhibitor product for industrial cleaning and chemical preparations for industrial use.

Arudra, in its original petition, claimed that it had registered the trademarks Coronil-92 and Coronil-213 SPL in 1993. Patanjali, the petition said, was infringing Arudra’s registered trademark.

Registered trademark

The Division Bench observed that though Arudra’s label is registered as a trademark and incorporates the word ‘Coronil’, it cannot be said that the word ‘Coronil’ adopted by Patanjali was similar to that of the registered labels of Arudra.

It would have been different if Arudra had obtained a registration of the word ‘Coronil’ or any other word, which was phonetically similar or identical with the aforesaid word. Therefore, it cannot be said that Arudra had made a prima facie case for the purpose of grant of interim relief for the alleged infringement of trademark under Section 29(4) of the Trademarks Act, 1999.

As Arudra had not claimed any monopoly over the word ‘Coronil’ by obtaining a separate registration of the aforesaid word, the Bench said the impugned order is liable to be set aside even if Arudra may have a case for dilution of its trademark by Patanjali. In case there is dilution of the trademark/label of the Arudra, the company can claim damages, which have to be determined only after a trial.

The use of the word ‘Coronil’ in the process of manufacture and sale of a tablet as an immunity booster, will not be detrimental to the distinctive character or repute of the registered trademark of Arudra.

“Further, the dispute being a ‘commercial dispute’,” the Bench was of the view that the suit should be decided by the Commercial Division of the High Court and disposed in a time-bound manner in terms of the above Act.

Published on February 06, 2021

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