Supreme Court favors Patanjali in ‘Coronil’ trademark dispute

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to restrain Patanjali Ayurved from using the trademark “Coronil” for its immunity-boosting products released and sold during Covid-19 pandemic.

The case pertained to a trademark dispute, not related to the merits of branding or the efficacy of the formulation of products marketed under the brand name ‘Coronil’.

A bench headed by Chief Justice of India, SA Bobde declined to interfere with an interim order passed by a division bench of Madras High Court which had, on August 14, granted relief to Patanjali by staying an earlier order of a single judge of the high court.

The single judge had, on August 6, restrained Patanjali from using the trademark ‘Coronil’ and also slapped a fine of Rs 10 lakh on it in a trademark infringement suit filed by a private firm, Arudra Engineers Private Limited.

“In these Covid times, if we prevent the use of word Coronil, it will be terrible for the product (of Patanjali),” CJI Bobde remarked when the appeal filed by Arudra challenging the interim order of division bench came up for hearing on Thursday.

The top court dismissed Arudra’s plea and asked the firm to pursue the matter before the division bench of the high court. The division bench is slated to hear the matter in September.

Arudra has claimed that the trademark ‘Coronil’ is owned by them since 1993 for its product used for industrial cleaning and chemical preparations.

The single judge, while allowing Arudra’s plea, had noted that Patanjali exploited the public’s fear and panic by projecting and advertising it’s Coronil products as a cure for Covid-19.

“The defendants (Patanjali) have repeatedly projected that they are a Rs 10,000 crore company. However, they are still 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 single judge had noted while imposing fine of Rs. 10 lakh.

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