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British Drug Major GlaxoSmithKline Wins Trademark Battle With Hyderabad Firm

  • Post By: YYogesh Joshi
  • 04 Nov 2016

Following a three-year long court battle with a Hyderabad company - GSK Life Sciences Pvt Ltd - on trademark British drug major GlaxoSmithKline has secured a crucial victory. The Indian pharma company was using the same acronym 'GSK' but the Delhi High Court has passed an permanent injunction restraining the Indian 'GSK' from infringing on a trademark registered to the UK firm.

Though, the court has granted the decree in favour of MNC's prayers, it has rejected its plea for compensation as damages.

Court asks to deliver all printed material
The court in the judgment by Justice Vibhu Bakhru favoured the global drug firm decreeing a permanent injunction restraining the Indian company - GSK Life Sciences Pvt Ltd - from using the logo, mark or name 'GSK' in its trade. The court also directed the Indian firm to deliver all printed matter bearing the acronym ‘GSK’ to GlaxoSmithKline for destruction. The printed material includes stationery, labels and packaging boxes.

Ex-parte ad-interim injunction passed three years earlier
The high court had three years earlier, following a GlaxoSmithKline petition, passed an ex-parte ad-interim injunction restraining the GSK Life Sciences Pvt Ltd from infringing on the trademark, which was registered to the UK-headquartered firm. GlaxoSmithKline approached the court in 2013, claiming that the Indian company is using exactly the same logo of theirs and as per Section 29(5) of Trade Marks Act of 1999, such use of the acronym amounted to infringement of its statutory rights in the mark ‘GSK’.

GSK filed suit for permanent injunction
At the Delhi HC,  GlaxoSmithKline filed a suit for permanent injunction restraining infringement of trademark and claiming damages, among other things. The MNC had also filed a complaint under the Companies Act (1956) asking to declare the Hyderabad ‘GSK’ as defunct. The complaint is stated to be pending.