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Court rejects firm's plea to stop Serum from using 'Covishield' trademark

BusinessToday.In     January 31, 2021

Drug company Cutis Biotech had moved court against Serum Institute of India's use of the trademark 'Covishield'. However the civil court in Pune rejected the plea, said Serum's lawyers in a note to the media.

Maharashtra-based Cutis Biotech filed a suit in civil court seeking to restrain Serum Institute of India, helmed by Adar Poonawalla, from using the trademark 'Covishield' or other similar names for its coronavirus vaccine. The company that makes pharmaceutical products said that it has been using the brand name Covishield much before Serum Institute did.

Serum in its reply stated that both the companies operate in different product categories and there is no scope for confusion over the trademark. Subsequently, the court rejected the injunction application filed by Curtis Biotech against Serum Institute.

Hitesh Jain, managing partner at Parinam law Associates that represented Serum Institute said, "Judge AV Rote has rejected the application which had sought a perpetual injunction against Serum Institute of India for purposes of restraining it from using the trademark Covishield or any other mark which is confusingly similar with the trademark Covishield in respect of the goods which are same, similar, dissimilar with the goods of the plaintiff."

The lawyers said that the court observed that Cutis Biotech did not approach the court with clean hands and suppressed material facts.

Cutis Biotech has decided to appeal in the high court. Aditya Soni, lawyer of Cutis-Biotech said that copy was not yet available but the operative order was read out in court. "We will file an appeal against the order in the high court," said Soni as mentioned in PTI.

Covishield and Bharat Biotech's Covaxin have been cleared for use last month. The vaccination drive started off with inoculation of healthcare workers. Frontline workers too would be administered shots from February. Serum Institute if also aiming to launch Novavax's Covovax by June.

Also read: COVID-19 vaccine: Dr Reddy's aims to roll out Russia's Sputnik V in India in March

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