Maharashtra-based pharmaceutical company 'Cutis Biotech' filed a suit claiming that it is the prior and lawful user of the trade name 'COVISHIELD'.
The Institute had replied to the plea by stating that the products of both the companies are totally different and thus, there can be no confusion over the trademark.
A commercial court in Pune rejected to pass interim injunction to halt the Serum Institute of India (SII) to use the trademark 'COVISHIELD'for its coronavirus vaccine.
ARGUMENTS OF PETITIONER
In the plea it has been argued that the manufacturers are reluctant to take orders from Cutis Biotech under the name 'COVISHIELD'as SII is using the same name.
It has also been alleged that plaintiff has the right to get remedy against the defendants for passing off even if the application for registration of trade name has been pending.
A similar plea was filed at a court in Nanded, but was later taken back and a new commercial suit was filed in Pune. This was observed by the Civil Court, as it stated that Cutis Biotech had not approached the Court with 'clean hands'.
The use of 'Covishield' vaccine was authorized by the Drug Controller General of India. It has been developed by Oxford-AstraZeneca and produced by SII for emergency uses.
It was held that the applicant cannot prima facie prove the goodwill of the plaintiff, misrepresentation by the defendant and damages to the plaintiff, which are the three tests for passing off a trademark.
Further, the Court also decided that if SII will not be able to the trade name, then this will become difficult for the people as they will not be able to identify the Covid-19 vaccine.
While holding the judgment in favor of the defendant, the Court held that by refusing interim injunction, plaintiff will not face any loss as it can still sell its products under the same name. However, if the injunction is passed, defendant and its customer will face difficulties.
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