Patanjali moves Madras HC to vacate injunction on ‘Coronil’

A Chennai-based industrial equipment cleaning firm has filed a civil suit for alleged trademark infringement

July 23, 2020 10:59 pm | Updated 11:33 pm IST - CHENNAI

A photo of the kit released by Patanjali. Photo: Twitter

A photo of the kit released by Patanjali. Photo: Twitter

Patanjali Ayurved Limited on Thursday rushed to the Madras High Court with a plea to vacate an ex-parte interim injunction granted by it on July 17 restraining the company from using the term ‘Coronil’ for tablets marketed by it to boost immunity against COVID-19.

Justice C.V. Karthikeyan decided to hear the plea on Friday after senior counsel P.R. Raman, representing a Chennai-based industrial equipment cleaning company which had obtained the injunction, and Satish Parasaran for Patanjali said they were prepared to argue.

Arudra Engineers Private Limited from Tiruvanmiyur here had filed a civil suit for alleged trademark infringement. It had claimed to be the manufacturers of chemicals named Coronil -213 SPL and Coronil-92B, used to clean industrial machinery, since 1993.

The plaintiff company said there had been press reports of yoga guru Baba Ramdev, associated with Patanjali, having made a false claim that Coronil Tablets were a cure for COVID-19. Such an act had caused irreparable damage to the reputation of the engineering company’s trademark, it claimed.

Suspects conspiracy

On the contrary, Patanjali, in its affidavit, stated that it was a very successful consumer goods company whose revenues had risen from ₹100 crore in 2010-11 to ₹9,500 crore in 2018-19. It suspected a larger conspiracy being hatched across the country to scuttle its business.

It said, multiple cases related to Coronil Tablets were pending in the Uttarakhand High Court, the Rajasthan High Court, the Muzaffarpur district court in Bihar, a district court in Chandigarh, the New Delhi district court and also in Jaipur on the basis of unverified media reports.

The company said that if the Madras High Court did not vacate its injunction, a large number of people in the country would not be able to take advantage of the immunity booster tablets that had been formulated after huge investments on research.

According to Patanjali, it was only marketing the ‘Coronil Tablets’ manufactured by the Divya Yog Mandir Trust which had not been made as a respondent to the civil suit despite the canisters clearly containing the name Divya Coronil Tablet.

The court was told that the Trust had commenced sale on July 1 after due intimation to the Union Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy, and after making an application for registering the mark ‘Coronil Tablet’ with the Trademarks Registry in New Delhi.

Common practice

Stating that it was a common practice in the pharmaceutical industry to name a drug after an ailment, organ or medical compound, Patanjali said the adoption of the mark Coronil was bona fide since the tablets were being marketed as immunity booster against coronavirus.

Pointing out that its market, class of customers and mode of purchase of goods was completely different compared to that of the plaintiff company with not even a single point of interjection, Patanjali said, “it is beyond comprehension as to how the suit is maintainable at all.”

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