‘Reddy Pharma’s adoption of the impugned mark is in every way a wilful misrepresentation to the customer’

Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd. has won a case relating to a trade mark dispute with New Delhi-based Reddy Pharmaceutical Limited. The Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) has ordered the Registrar of Trademarks to remove the registered trade mark, ‘Reddy’ of the latter.

The Bench passed the order on an application filed by Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd., Hyderabad.

Dr. Reddy’s was established in 1984 by K. Anji Reddy to create and deliver innovative pharmaceutical health solutions. It adopted the trade mark ‘Dr. Reddy’s’ in 1984, and had started using it from then onwards. It had applied for the registration in 2001. However, the Registrar of Trade Marks granted registration under the name of ‘Reddy’ in favour of Reddy Pharmaceutical Limited in 2005 in respect of ‘medicinal and pharmaceutical preparations’.

In its application before the IPAB, Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories sought to expunge the mark, ‘Reddy’, as the adoption was not honest and would cause confusion in the market.  

However, denying averments made by the applicant, Reddy Pharmaceutical submitted that its mark was based on the name of its founder Konda Raghu Rami Reddi.

The company also said it had been engaged in the business of marketing pharmaceutical preparations basic drugs and medicinal formulations since 1996.

Going into the facts, the Bench, comprising Vice-Chairman S.Usha and member V.Ravi, said, “The Reddy Pharmaceutical Ltd deliberately adopted the impugned mark, ‘Reddy’, to deceive the public, and is in every way a wilful misrepresentation to the customer.”  

Stating that Reddy Pharmaceutical’s mark was not honest adoption, the Bench said the mark should not remain on the register.

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