Updated: January 31, 2021 12:57:10 am
A court in Pune on Saturday rejected the plea of a Nanded-based pharma-sales company, seeking temporary injunction against Serum Institute of India (SII), prohibiting its use of the trademark Covishield for the Covid-19 vaccine. The suit for permanent injunction will continue in the court.
The injunction has been sought in Pune’s Commercial Court by Cutis Biotech, a sole proprietorship concern headquartered in Nanded district, which is a pharmaceutical and medicinal products sales company. Cuits claimed in the suit filed on January 5 that it had applied for the trademark Covishield on April 29 for their sanitisation products prior to SII applying for it in June last year. The SII, through its lawyer, had filed its reply to the suit on January 19. The case is being heard by the Commercial Court presided over by Judge AV Rotte. Meanwhile, Cutis had sought a temporary injunction against the use of trademark Covishield by SII, till the time the suit for permanent injunction is decided.
The arguments of both sides on temporary injunction had concluded on January 22. Senior Advocate SK Jain, who is the attorney for SII, said: “The court on Saturday observed that the plaintiff has not been able to make its case for a temporary injunction. The ruling in the case of temporary injunction has been given in favour of SII. The suit for permanent injunction will continue.” SII has been one of the key players in global supplies of vaccines for Covid-19.
Cutis had filed a similar suit at a court in Nanded on December 11 last year. However, their lawyer Aditya Ashok Soni submitted to the court on Friday that they have filed an application to the court in Nanded, seeking withdrawal of the said suit.
After the conclusion of the arguments on January 22, Advocate Jain had said, “The plaintiff claimed first use of the trademark and said they applied for it in April last year. We have submitted to the court the information about labels of Covishield which were printed in March last year as part of its development process by SII. We told the court that the Cutis had applied for a vaccine trademark in December, when do not even make a vaccine. This information was suppressed and a fraud committed upon the court. We also pointed to the court discrepancies in submission of papers regarding the suit in Nanded and also in submission of invoice of their sanitisation products.”
Advocate Soni had refuted the allegation of suppression of information and fraud in court by citing a Supreme Court judgment which says that a trademark registration application has no relevance in a case of trademark “passing off”. The “passing off” is a concept under the Common Law system which enforces unregistered trade mark rights and protects the goodwill of a business from misrepresentation.
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