Bayer protects cold remedy with injunction

India

In Bayer AG v Manabay Remedies (unpublished), German pharmaceutical giant Bayer has successfully petitioned the Delhi High Court to restrain Manabay Remedies from using the mark INCIDAL and certain packaging material.

Bayer had sought an injunction against the Mumbai-based company and its distributor for the alleged infringement of trademark and copyright, and for passing off its goods as those belonging to Bayer.

Bayer submitted that Manabay's use of the INCIDAL trademark in respect of pharmaceutical products amounted to an infringement of its registered trademark, and that Manabay's actions were calculated to mislead the purchasing public into believing that its goods were Bayer's or in some way connected to Bayer.

Bayer also contended that the colour scheme and pattern of the packaging material were substantial reproductions of the packaging of Bayer's Incidal drug, used to treat coughs and colds. It alleged that since Manabay's drug was widely available, the similarity in the packaging was likely to cause great damage to Bayer's reputation and goodwill.

The Delhi court's ruling is in line with Supreme Court precedent recognizing that the Drugs and Cosmetics Act 1940 prescribes that India's drug authority must be satisfied that there will be no confusion or deception in the market before granting permission to manufacture a drug.

Gladys Mirandah, Ella Cheong Mirandah & Sprusons, Singapore

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