Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Ltd. v. Curetech Skincare and Galpha Laboratories Ltd. :Case Study
Court: High Court of Bombay Case No: Notice of Motion (L) No. 1890 of 2018 in COMIP (L) NO. 1063 of 2018 Order dated: 28thAugust, 2018 Plaintiff: Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Ltd. Curetech Skincare and Galpha Laboratories Ltd.
The plaintiff in the present suit was Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Ltd., who filed the suit against defendant company, Curetech Skincare Galpha Laboratories Ltd., for having sold products under the mark ‘CLODID-B’, which was similar to plaintiff’s ‘CANDID-B an anti-fungal cream, and a similar drug being sold by Defendant 2. It was further alleged that defendant had even copied the word mark, artwork, color scheme, trade dress, and even a font style of the Plaintiff.
Defendant No. 1 Curetech Skincare is just a contract manufacturer, who was manufacturing on behalf of Galpha Laboratories. Therefore, the Defendant No.1 was provided with the art-work, labels and the mark by Defendant No. 2 under a Contract Manufacturing Agreement.
Interestingly, the Defendants, in this case, accepted the allegations made by the Plaintiff and willingly submitted to the decree by not contesting the suit. It was also submitted that the trademark was not intentionally infringed by them but was by “mistake”. The advocate for the Defendant No. 2, however, accepted that they “ought to have acted diligently before adopting and using the trade mark”.
- Whether or not the defendant is a ‘habitual infringer’ and a ‘habitual offender’.
- Whether or not exemplary costs should be imposed on the defendant so as to deter them in future.
The dispute concerned the Plaintiff’s product CANDID-B, was sold by Defendant No. 2 named Clodid-B (“impugned mark”). In addition to the adoption of similar word mark, the Defendant No. 2 had also copied the trade dress, color scheme, art work, font style and even manner of writing of the Plaintiff’s product. That the Hon’ble High Court of Bombay imposed Rs. 1,50,00,000/- as the exemplary costs on the Defendant No. 2.
The Defendant No. 1, being just the contract manufacturer for defendant-2 product. While decreeing the suit in favour of the Plaintiff, the Court also examined the history of defendant-2 of committing trademark infringement. That the counsel for the Plaintiff refer judgment of the Delhi High Court [Win-Medicare Pvt. Ltd. Vs. Galpha Laboratories Ltd. &Ors.], wherein it was categorically observed by the Delhi High Court that Defendant No. 2 is not only a habitual offender but also appears to be in complete violation of the FDA regulations.
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Court also observed:
“Drugs are not sweets. Pharmaceutical companies which provide medicines for health of the consumers have a special duty of care towards them. These companies, in fact, have a greater responsibility towards the general public. However, nowadays, the corporate and financial goals of such companies cloud the decision of its executives whose decisions are incentivized by profits, more often than not, at the cost of public health. This case is a perfect example of just that.”