Ajanta’s skin product trademarks ordered to be removed from the Trademark Register

Ajanta’s skin product trademarks ordered to be removed from the Trademark RegisterTrademarks “Clinoxid” “Clinoxide” and “Clinoxide-A” for pharma products registered in Class 5 were ordered to be removed from the trademark registry by IPAB. This follows Delhi High Court’s Order on 12th September wherein it had decreed the infringement suit filed by Stiefel Laboratories Ltd; a US based global dermatological pharmaceutical company in terms of the settlement between the parties.

The IPAB, in consonance with the settlement terms agreed upon by the parties before the Delhi High Court, allowed the rectification application filed by Stiefel Laboratories and ordered removal of the impugned marks from the Trademark Register.

Earlier, Stiefel Laboratories Ltd had filed an infringement suit before the Delhi High Court seeking permanent injunction against Ajanta from using the impugned marks as they were deceptively similar to its mark Clindoxyl and were adopted for an identical product namely a skin ointment for treatment of acne. Stiefel claimed to have registered the said mark in India in class 5 since year 2006. An interim order was passed by the Delhi High Court granting injunction in favour of Stielfel and Ajanta was restrained from manufacturing, selling or advertising pharmaceutical preparations under the said trademarks CLINOXID, CLINOXIDE or CLINOXIDE–A or any other mark deceptively similar to the Stiefel’s trademark CLINDOXYL during the pendency of the suit.

The Court observed that “If rival deceptively similar marks are permitted to stay in the market in respect of pharmaceutical products, there is likelihood of grave injury to the public. Where greater public interest is involved, the commercial rights of parties are to become subservient. If there is any likelihood of confusion in the two competing marks that have been applied to pharmaceutical products, the deceptively similar mark that had entered the market later in time has to go”.

Subsequently the matter was settled on the basis of terms of compromise before the Delhi High Court and an order was passed by the Court on September 12, 2014.

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