News detail

21
Jul
2019

Stringent test are required for nutraceutical products since they are akin to medicines and pharmaceutical products- Delhi High Court.

Sun Pharma Laboratories Ltd filed a suit of trademark infringement and passing off for it’s mark GlOEYE against Ajanta Pharma Ltd for the use of the mark GLOTAB.
Plaintiff argued that both the products are nutritional supplements and ‘GLO’ is the prefix in both the products. These two elements leads to deception and confusion among the patients. The Defendant argued that both the products are prescribed drugs though they are nutraceutical products and moreover, ‘GLO’ is generic to trade. They further argued that ‘GLOEYE’ and ‘GLOTAB’ ought to be compared as a whole mark. Defendant also maintained that their above said product has been there from past five years and till date their is no instance of confusion or no likelihood of confusion.
The court held that nutraceutical products too undergo stringent tests and approvals under FSSAI and that they cannot be manufactured without a license. Hence, highly regulated products by the Food Authority are akin to pharmaceutical products and medicines.
Court restrained from making difference between nutraceuticals and pharmaceuticals since both are aimed to cure disease/ailments or disorders. The effects of the products to the consumers are similar in nature hence therefore the court held that the test applicable to pharmaceutical products would be applicable even to nutraceuticals.
Court maintained that ‘GLOTAB’ and ‘GLOEYE’ have common prefix ‘GLO’ and the suffix used by the Defendant ‘TAB’ is nothing but the short form of ‘TABLET’. Both are ocular medicines are aimed to cure eye ailments. Both are the nutritional supplements and hence stand a high degree of confusion while prescribing the product or even while administering the product to the patients. The Court applied the principle of Cadila judgement (by the Hon Supreme Court) and granted interim injunction against the Defendant for the use of trademark ‘GLOTAB’.

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