Patanjali had advertised ‘Coronil’ as a cure for COVID-19 in June and then later went back on its claims and said that it was just an immunity booster.

Madras HC restrained Baba Ramdev's Patanjali from using Coronil as a trademark for its immunity booster drug. Wiki Commons/ Yoga Balaji / CC BY-SA 3.0
Coronavirus Court Tuesday, July 21, 2020 - 09:11

The Madras High Court, on Monday, passed an interim order restraining Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali from using the term ‘Coronil’ to promote its immunity-booster drug.

The order came on a petition filed by Chennai’s Arudra Engineering Private Limited, which had registered ‘CORONIL-92 B’ as a trademark in 1993. The product is reportedly an acid inhibitor used for industrial purposes. The company also told the court that it has been regularly renewing the trademark since then and that big companies like Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL), National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), Reliance Industries etc. are its clients in purchasing and using this product.

It was also submitted to the court that Patanjali’s ‘Coronil’ is recent and that its effectiveness is still being evaluated in states like Uttarakhand. The petitioner also pointed out that there are several complaints against the drug and that the government of Maharashtra has banned ‘Coronil’ drug.

Recording the submissions, Justice CV Karthikeyan granted an interim injunction to Patanjali from using the name till July 30, adding that the similarity in the two names is obvious and even the spelling used by Patanjali is the same as the one used by Arudra Engineering.

“It is seen that the plaintiff (Arudra Engineering) has a registered trademark Coronil and the registration still subsists. Once the plaintiff has a registered trademark, protection has to be given from infringement. The law is clear on that aspect. The defendant (Patanjali) has also claimed that he is going to market his product in the same name 'Coronil'. The defendant can also market their product, but they have to use a different name. They cannot infringe upon the right accrued to the plaintiff owing to the registration of the trademark Coronil as early as 1993, which registration still subsists," the order noted.

In June, Patanjali announced that ‘Coronil’, a drug created by it, had cured all the COVID-19 patients who took part in its trial within a week. The trial was reportedly conducted at the National Institute of Medical Sciences, Jaipur. Patanjali’s claim triggered a row and the union AYUSH ministry had to step in and restrain it from selling the drug till it is cleared by the ministry. The state Ayurveda department of Uttarakhand, where Patanjali is headquartered, also pitched in and said that the firm had applied for a licence to manufacture an immunity booster and not a COVID-19 cure.

Patanjali, in a week’s time, backtracked from its earlier claim of having developed a cure for COVID-19 and said that it had not publicised its drug as a treatment against COVID-19. 

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