New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Friday ordered Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali Ayurved Ltd to stop airing advertisements to promote its brand of Chyawanprash, after its rival brand Dabur said the commercials disparaged its product. In an interim order, a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar restrained ayurvedic firm ‘Patanjali’ from airing, telecasting and circulating the advertisements in any manner till September 26, the next date of hearing.
“We are prima facie satisfied that an interim protection is necessary in the matter,” it said. The bench also issued notice to Patanjali Ayurved Ltd and sought their stand on the plea filed by Dabur India Ltd, which claims to be the largest manufacturer of ayurvedic medicine and natural consumer products. Besides seeking a restraining order, Dabur India has also sought a damage of Rs 2.01 crore from Patanjali.
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Dabur India moved the larger bench against the September 1 order of a single judge bench refusing its plea that Patanjali be restrained from airing the commercials. Challenging the interim order, Dabur alleged that the single judge had failed to appreciate that the “illegal trade activity” of Patanjali was causing irreparable and incalculable loss to it. It said that Patanjali’s “trade dress and packaging” in the advertisements were too similar to Dabur’s and any illiterate and semi-literate customer can easily be fooled.
The complaint was about an advertisement on social media in which a bottle with a blurred trademark and name was shown. Dabur submitted that the “trade dress/packaging” for its product had acquired distinctiveness as the consumer at large, particularly those who may not be literate, may recall the features of the “Dabur Chyawanprash”.
“The trade dress and the overall get up of Dabur Chyawanprash packaging on account of acquired distinctiveness, constitutes a trademark within the meaning of the Trademarks Act 1999 and thus it ought to be protected and prevented against the dilution, misuse, misappropriation and acts of infringement,” Dabur said in its plea. It said it had recently learnt that Patanjali has launched an advertisement campaign to promote its product “Patanjali Chyawanprash”.
“The impugned advertisement was uploaded on Facebook page of Patanjali products on August 24, 2017 and on the Youtube channel of the Patanjali on August 25, 2017,” the plea said, adding that they feared that this advertisement may be aired and circulated by the respondent on television soon.