No relief for Patanjali in using ‘Coronil’ to sell Covid ‘drug’

Our Bureau Chennai | Updated on August 06, 2020 Published on August 06, 2020

Madras HC directs the company to pay ₹10 lakh to Cancer Institute and the Government Yoga Naturopathy Hospital

In a setback to Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali Ayurved, the Madras High Court has refused to vacate an injunction restraining the company from using the term ‘Coronil’ to market its immunity-booster 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.

Patanjali Ayurved and Divya Mandir Trust had moved the High Court to vacate the ex parte interim order injunction granted, restraining the company from using the term ‘Coronil’.

While dismissing the plea moved by Patanjali Ayurved to vacate the interim injunction, Justice CV Karthikeyan came down heavily on the group for attempting to make profits by exploiting the fear of Covid-19. He also directed Patanjali Ayurved to pay ₹10 lakh in costs to Cancer Institute, Adyar (in Chennai), and the Government Yoga Naturopathy Hospital.

Arudra Engineering, in its original petition, claimed that it had registered the trademarks Coronil-92 and Coronil-213 SPL in 1993 and have also renewed the marks, which are in force till 2027. Patanjali Ayurved, it said, was were infringing Arudra’s registered trademark.

In its application to vacate the injunction, Patanjali said the suit was vitiated by bad motives and that the pleadings reveal the intention of the plaintiff, which was part of a larger conspiracy against the Patanjali group with the aim to scuttle their business following the launch of the ‘Coronil’ tablet

In his order, Justice Karthikeyan said the defendants (Patanjali) have invited this litigation on themselves. A simple check with the Trade Marks Registry would have revealed that Coronil is a registered trademark. If they had, and had still, with audacity used the name Coronil, then they deserve no consideration at all. They cannot assume they can bulldoze their way and infringe a registered trademark. They must realise there is no equity in trade and commerce. If they had not done a check with the Registry, then they are at faulty. They cannot plead ignore and innocence and seek indulgence from this Court. Either way, indulgence is refused, the order said.

As for costs, the defendants are chasing further profits by exploiting the fear of coronavirus, when actually their ‘Coronil Tablet’ is not a cure but rather an immunity booster for cough, cold and fever.

The defendants must realise that there are organisations which are helping the people in this critical period without seeking recognition and it would only be appropriate that they are made to pay costs to them. Costs to be paid on or before August 21, and a memo in this regard, to be filed before the Registry, High Court Madras, on or before August 25, the order said.

In view of all the facts, Justice Karthikeyan said that the interim injunction already granted on July 17 has to be made ‘absolute’and accordingly allowed the OA 258 of 2020 (filed by Arudra) with costs. He also held that A Nos 1532 and 1533 of 2020 have to be dismissed with costs, the order said.

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Published on August 06, 2020
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