October 8, 2014
Infringement action can be maintained despite long delay in trademark use: Wockhardt Ltd v Remed Healthcare Pvt Ltd: In a recent order the Delhi High Court dealt with a dispute involving deceptively similar trademarks used in relation to pharmaceutical products. In Wockhardt Ltd v Remed Healthcare Pvt Ltd (25th April, 2014) a single-judge bench issued an injunction in favour of the plaintiff. Background: Pharmaceutical giant Wockhardt Ltd owns the registered trademark MERICOBAL used in relation to pharmaceuticals and other products in Class 5. Wockhardt instituted infringement proceedings under the Trademarks Act 1999 against Remed Healthcare Pvt Ltd and others for adopting and using an identical MERICOBAL trademark in relation to similar products. Decision: The court rejected Remed's argument that there was no likelihood of confusion as it was using only the trademark MERICOBAL in relation to its products, compared to Wockhardt's use of the trademark MERICOBAL alongside the suffix 'Viva'. Further, having rejected the defendant's arguments in regard to non-use, the court observed that Wockhardt had satisfied the three criteria for grant of an injunction:
- There was a prima facie case;
- The balance of convenience rested in favour of the plaintiff; and
- There was a likelihood of irreparable injury would be caused to the plaintiff.