Court Rejects Move To Stop "Covishield" Trademark Use By Serum Institute

Cutis Biotech filed a suit in the civil court seeking to restrain Adar Poonawalla's Serum Institute from using the trademark "Covishield" or other similar names for its COVID-19 vaccine

Court Rejects Move To Stop 'Covishield' Trademark Use By Serum Institute

Serum Institute's Covishield and Bharat Biotech's Covaxin were cleared for use in India

New Delhi:

Drug company Cutis Biotech's move to stop the Serum Institute of India from using the trademark "Covishield" has been rejected by a civil court in Pune, the Serum Institute's lawyers said in a note to the media.

Earlier this month, Cutis Biotech filed a suit in the civil court seeking to restrain Adar Poonawalla's Serum Institute from using the trademark "Covishield" or other similar names for its COVID-19 vaccine.

The Maharashtra-based Cutis Biotech, which makes pharmaceutical products, claimed it has been using the brand name "Covishield" before the Serum Institute did.

In its reply, the Serum Institute said both companies operate in different product categories and there is no scope for confusion over the trademark, according to the lawyers representing the world's largest maker of vaccines.

The civil court in Pune then rejected the injunction application filed on behalf of Cutis Biotech against the Serum Institute, the lawyers said.

"Judge AV Rote has rejected the application which had sought a perpetual injunction against Serum Institute of India for purposes of restraining it from using the trademark Covishield or any other mark which is confusingly similar with the trademark Covishield in respect of the goods which are same, similar, dissimilar with the goods of the plaintiff," Hitesh Jain, managing partner at Parinam law Associates, which represented the Serum Institute, said in a statement.

"While rejecting the application, the court observed that Cutis Biotech has not approached the court with clean hands and suppressed material facts," the Serum Institute's lawyers said in the note.

While the court order was not available immediately, the lawyer of Cutis Biotech said they will file an appeal in the high court, news agency PTI reported. Aditya Soni, lawyer of Cutis-Biotech, said the order copy was not yet available but the operative order was read out in the court. "We will file an appeal against the order in the high court," PTI reported Mr Soni as saying.

The Serum Institute's Covishield and Bharat Biotech's Covaxin were cleared for use in India last month. Mr Poonawalla's company has said it is hopeful of launching Covovax - developed in partnership with American vaccine developer Novavax - by June. The US-based pharma firm's COVID-19 jab was found to be 89.3 per cent effective in a trial in the UK.

With inputs from PTI