Chennai, August 8: The Madras High Court Thursday barred Ramdev’s Patanjali Ayurved from using the trademark ‘Coronil’ for a drug it developed and marketed as a cure for the novel coronavirus.
The court’s order came while hearing a suit filed by a Chennai-based firm which claimed that ‘Coronil’ is a trademark owned by it since 1993. The company’s registered trademark, called ‘CORONIL-92 B’, is an acid inhibitor product to clean heavy machinery and chemical preparations for industrial use. The plaintiff company said it had renewed its trademark till 2027.
The high court observed, “The defendants have invited this litigation on themselves. A simple check with the Trade Marks Registry would have revealed that ‘Coronil’ is a registered trademark. If they had, and had still, with audacity, used the name ‘Coronil’, then they deserve no consideration at all,” The Print reported.
While making absolute an interim injunction passed earlier against Patanjali, Justice C.V. Karthikeyan also imposed a fine of Rs 10 lakh on the company.
Even though it claims to be a Rs 10 crore company, said the judge, Patanjali has been “chasing further profits by exploiting the fear and panic among the general public by projecting a cure for the coronavirus, when actually their ‘Coronil Tablet’ is not a cure but rather an immunity booster for cough, cold and fever.”
The court ordered the fine amount to be equally divided between the Adyar Cancer Institute and the Government Yoga and Naturopathy Medical College and Hospital in Arumbakkam by 21 August.
On 17 July, the Madras High Court had passed an ex-parte interim injunction against Patanjali Ayurved for using the trademark, noting that similarity in the name was “obvious”.
“The name used by the defendant is the same. The spelling is the same,” the court had then observed.
On Thursday, the court said that Patanjali and Divya Yog Mandir Trust, also owned by Ramdev, had infringed upon the plaintiff’s trademark. It also pointed out that Patanjali has only applied for the trademark.
The court further asserted that Patanjali had “not shown due cause” in naming its product as ‘Coronil’.
“…there was no direct material produced to show that it is a treatment for coronavirus and even the reports in this connection, projecting such a cure, have been adversely noted by the Ministry of Ayush, New Delhi,” said the court.