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SC refuses to entertain plea against Madras HC order on Patanjali’s use of ‘Coronil’

A Division Bench of the Madras High Court had suspended for two weeks the operation of an order passed by a single judge on restraining Patanjali Ayurved Limited and Divya Yog Mandir Trust from using the term 'Coronil' for their tablets

By: PTI | New Delhi | August 27, 2020 3:14:57 pm
After Patanjali launched Cornonil, the Union AYUSH Ministry had, on July 1, said the company can sell the drug only as an immunity booster and not as a cure for COVID-19. (File)

The Supreme Court Thursday refused to entertain a plea challenging the Madras High Court decision to stay a single Judge order, which had restrained Patanjali Ayurved Ltd from using the trademark ‘Coronil’.

A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde said, “If we prevent the use of word “Coronil” during the pandemic on the ground that there is some pesticide on its name, it will be terrible for the first product.”

The bench, also comprising Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian, noted that matter is already listed for hearing in September before the high court.

It allowed the petitioner to withdraw the plea with liberty to pursue it before the high court and the matter was dismissed as withdrawn.

A Division Bench of the Madras High Court had suspended for two weeks the operation of an order passed by a single judge on restraining Patanjali Ayurved Limited and Divya Yog Mandir Trust from using the term ‘Coronil’ for their tablets and imposing a cost of Rs 10 lakh on them for commercial exploitation of the fear around COVID-19.

A single bench of the high court had passed the interim order on the plea of Chennai-based company Arudra Engineering Private Limited which has claimed that “Coronil” is a trademark owned by it since 1993.

According to the company, which makes chemicals and sanitisers for heavy machineries and containment units, it has registered “Coronil-213 SPL” and “Coronil-92B” in 1993 and has been diligently renewing the trademark since then.

“Currently, our right over the trademark is valid till 2027,” the company said.

Claiming that its products with the trademark have a global presence, the company said that its clients include BHEL and Indian Oil.

To substantiate its claim, the petitioner produced sales bills of the products for the past five years. “The mark adopted by Patanjali for its drugs are clearly identical to the marks registered by the company.”

Though the products sold by the company are different, use of identical trademarks would still amount to infringement of our intellectual property right, the company said.

“Permitting Patanjali to continue to use the mark will directly affect our reputation and the goodwill created over the mark for over 26 years in both international and domestic markets,” the petitioner added.

After Patanjali launched Cornonil, the Union AYUSH Ministry had, on July 1, said the company can sell the drug only as an immunity booster and not as a cure for COVID-19.

The company’s co-founder Ramdev had reacted to the criticism on the efficacy of Coronil, saying some people were hurt by the rise of indigenous medicine.

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