The Triumph of Himalaya Global Holdings over Mark “LIV.52”

The Triumph of Himalaya Global Holdings over Mark “LIV.52”

The legal battle between Himalaya Global Holdings and Rajasthan Aushadhalaya Private Limited culminated in a significant court order on May 24, 2024. This case has attracted considerable attention due to its implications on intellectual property rights, corporate competition, and the pharmaceutical industry in India. In this article, we will delve into the background of the case, the arguments presented by both parties, the Court’s ruling, and its broader implications.

Background of the Case

Himalaya Global Holdings is a renowned multinational company specializing in health and personal care products, including herbal and Ayurvedic medicines. Rajasthan Aushadhalaya Private Limited, a smaller but prominent player in the Indian market, also produces Ayurvedic medicines. The dispute arose when Himalaya Global Holdings accused Rajasthan Aushadhalaya of infringing on its registered trademark, “LIV.52”, and engaging in unfair competition practices.

The crux of the lawsuit was Himalaya’s claim that Rajasthan Aushadhalaya had been using a packaging design and branding under the mark “LIV-333” that closely resembled its own “LIV.52”, thereby causing confusion among consumers. Himalaya argued that this not only diluted its brand but also misled customers into buying products they believed were from Himalaya.

Key Arguments

Himalaya Global Holdings, the plaintiff in the legal dispute, asserted several key arguments against Rajasthan Aushadhalaya Private Limited. Firstly, they claimed that Rajasthan Aushadhalaya’s product packaging under their branding “LIV-333” closely resembled their own “LIV.52”, using similar colours, fonts, and design elements. Himalaya argued vehemently that this similarity constituted a clear case of trademark infringement. Moreover, Himalaya presented compelling evidence, such as market surveys and expert testimonies, to support their claim of consumer confusion. They contended that consumers were mistakenly associating Rajasthan Aushadhalaya’s products with their own, which they argued had detrimental effects on their brand’s reputation and sales. Additionally, Himalaya accused Rajasthan Aushadhalaya of unfair competition practices.

They alleged that Rajasthan Aushadhalaya intentionally replicated their branding to capitalize on Himalaya’s well-established market presence and goodwill, thus gaining an unfair advantage in the market. To further establish the distinctiveness and enormous goodwill of their registered trademark “LIV.52”, the plaintiff relied on various holdings of the Court in the judicial precedents “Himalaya Drug Company v. M/S. S.B.L. Limited” [2012 SCC OnLine Del 5701] and “Himalaya Wellness Company & Ors V. Abony Healthcare Limited Through its Directors & Anr.” [CS(COMM) 476/2021], where the Court was clearly of the view that the plaintiff’s mark “LIV.52″is distinctive and has garnered enormous goodwill over a long period of time due to its continuous usage. It is pertinent to note that a cease-and-desist notice was sent by the plaintiff on January 17, 2024. However, no response from the defendant was received. In addition to that, defendants were also served in advance through email on May 21, 2024; however, no one appeared on their behalf on the date of the hearing.

The Court’s Analysis and Ruling

Following a thorough review of the evidence and arguments presented by both parties, the Court rendered a comprehensive verdict on May 24, 2024. The Court determined that there existed significant similarities between the packaging of Himalaya Global Holdings and Rajasthan Aushadhalaya’s products. It observed that while certain elements could be considered generic within the Ayurvedic industry, the overall visual impression of Rajasthan Aushadhalaya’s packaging closely resembled Himalaya’s, potentially leading to consumer confusion. This constituted a clear case of trademark infringement as per the Court’s assessment.

Secondly, the Court validated Himalaya’s assertion regarding consumer confusion. It found the market surveys and expert testimonies submitted by Himalaya to be credible, highlighting a substantial likelihood that consumers could mistakenly perceive Rajasthan Aushadhalaya’s product under their branding “LIV-333” as affiliated with or endorsed by Himalaya.

On the issue of unfair competition, the Court ruled decisively in favour of Himalaya, concluding that Rajasthan Aushadhalaya’s practices did not adhere to fair competition principles. It emphasised the importance of conducting business within legal boundaries and without misleading consumers, underscoring the need for equitable practices in competitive markets.

As part of its ruling, the Court issued an ex parte ad interim injunction requiring Rajasthan Aushadhalaya to immediately discontinue using the disputed packaging and branding “LIV-333”. Additionally, Rajasthan Aushadhalaya was directed to compensate Himalaya for the losses incurred due to trademark infringement and resulting consumer confusion. The specific amount of damages would be determined in a subsequent hearing, contingent upon detailed financial assessments.

Broader Implications

The court order in this matter carries significant implications for the pharmaceutical and broader consumer goods industry in India. Several key takeaways from this case include:

  1. Stricter Enforcement of Trademark Laws: The ruling reinforces the need for companies to adhere strictly to trademark laws and avoid any practices that could potentially infringe on the intellectual property of others. This is particularly important in industries where branding plays a crucial role in consumer decision-making.
  2. Consumer Protection: The judgment highlights the Court’s role in protecting consumers from being misled. By ruling against practices that cause consumer confusion, the Court aims to ensure that consumers can make informed decisions based on clear and distinct branding.
  3. Encouragement of Fair Competition: While the Court supports competition in the market, it sets a precedent that such competition must be fair and within legal bounds. This helps create a level playing field for all companies, regardless of their size.
  4. Corporate Responsibility: The case reminds larger corporations to use their market power responsibly and not misuse legal frameworks to eliminate smaller competitors. At the same time, it warns smaller companies against unfairly leveraging the goodwill of established brands to boost their own market presence.


The court order in the case of Himalaya Global Holdings vs Rajasthan Aushadhalaya Private Limited on May 24, 2024, marks a significant moment in the ongoing evolution of trademark law and competition policy in India. It underscores the judiciary’s commitment to protecting intellectual property rights and maintaining a fair, competitive environment. This case will likely serve as a reference point for future disputes in similar domains, providing clarity and guidance on the standards and expectations for corporate conduct in the marketplace.

Authors: Manisha Singh and Shreya Arora

First Published by: Lexology here