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Sun Pharma receives temporary relief from the Delhi High Court in the “Abzorb” trademark issue

New Deilhi: The pharmaceutical company has charged Propitiation Products with infringement for imitating its registered trademark “Abzorb” in relation to its whey-protein product, “Abbzorb Nutrition.”

The multinational pharmaceutical business Sun Pharma has been awarded temporary relief by the Delhi High Court in their trademark infringement case against Propitiation Products LLP, a nutritional supplement company situated in Delhi.

Propitiation Products was subject to a restraining order last Friday by the court, which forbade it from producing, marketing, or dealing in products under the trade name “Abbzorb” until the action was settled. The court stated that its observations were preliminary and that the case’s procedures would not be impacted by the temporary injunction.

With regard to their whey-protein product known as “Abbzorb Nutrition,” Sun Pharma has accused Protrition Products of stealing its registered trademark “Abzorb.” Sun Pharma, a company that produces and markets anti-fungal medicinal treatments under the Abzorb, Abzorbec, and Abzorb Sydnet trademarks, has affirmed that it is entitled to use its registered trademarks for goods in the recognised class. The court noted in its ruling that the two names were phonetically similar and would lead to confusion for customers.

Propitiation Products responded by arguing that since Sun Pharma’s brand Abzorb was only a play on the term “absorb,” it shouldn’t have been allowed to register. It also questioned whether Sun Pharma’s trademark was unique and distinctive, stating that consumers would be more likely to confuse the two products if they incorrectly substituted an anti-fungal medication for whey protein rather than the other way around.

Propitiation items further emphasised the significant price difference between the two items, claiming that this would help avoid confusion in the market because the two products targeted to separate customer segments. The court, however, dismissed these arguments and determined that there was probable trademark infringement in this disagreement.

Sun Pharma and other pharmaceutical corporations are filing lawsuits more frequently for trademark violation. Regarding Sun Pharma’s anti-acidity medication Pantocid, the Delhi High Court rendered a decision in August in a trademark infringement action against Finecure Pharmaceuticals Limited. In an additional case that month, the court found in favour of Sun Pharma and awarded it ₹5 lakh in costs in connection with a trademark infringement lawsuit involving its registered mark “Oxiplat,” which is named after one of its medication compositions. A court fined Sun Pharma ₹10 lakh in December 2022 for withholding information in a lawsuit involving the trademark “Forzest” against DWD Pharmaceuticals Ltd.

Experts assert that distinct and unambiguous brand names are crucial in the pharmaceutical sector since names that are too similar to one another may jeopardise consumers’ health and safety. Pharmaceutical businesses frequently try to improve their marketing efforts and increase customer awareness and buy intent by using terms related to therapeutic effects or raw materials as trademarks. It can be difficult to register for these marks, though. Pharma businesses compete with one another to develop new brands from a small pool of generic names, which frequently results in disagreements.