A 15-year-old legal battle over its medicine Liv.52 Pharma major case has been won by Himalaya Drug Company with the Delhi High Court holding that homoeopathic firm SBL Limited infringed the trademark by coming up with its own preparation named as Liv-T.
“We allow the appeal. The judgement and decree dated 3rd June, 2010 is set aside. Suit of the plaintiff (Himalaya Drug Company) with regard to infringement of trade mark is decreed.
A bench of justices Pradeep Nandrajog and Manmohan Singh said “The defendant (SBL Ltd) is restrained from using the mark LIV as part of its trade mark LIV-T while dealing with the medicinal preparations. Decree be drawn accordingly.”
The court set aside its single judge bench judgement which had held that homoeopathic firm M/s SBL Limited did not infringe trademark Liv.52 of Himalaya Drug Company, registered way back in 1957, in making its own medicine Liv-T.
Writing the verdict for the bench, Justice Singh granted six months to SBL Ltd to “liquidate” existing stock of Liv-T.
“As we have arrived at the finding that the ‘LIV’ written in isolation is an essential feature of the trade mark Liv.52 and also noticed the rules of comparison which is that the marks are to be compared as whole.
According to the court “Therefore, presence of mark ‘LIV’ which is an essential feature of the mark Liv.52 shall be considered for the purposes of comparison with that of LIV-T”
During the hearing, SBL Limited had said the word ‘LIV’ is “generic and common to the trade as medicines in question manufactured and marketed by both parties are meant for treatment of liver.
It was also said two products were “different, one is an ayurvedic medicine and the other ayurvedic medicine.”