Court Stays Cipla From Using I-OMEGA Trademark

Court Stays Cipla From Using I-OMEGA Trademark

AHMEDABAD, 22 DEC 2017: A local court has restrained pharmaceutical giant Cipla Ltd from manufacturing and marketing a dietary healthcare supplement following a plaint from a local company, Palak Pharma, on infringement of its trademark rights.


Cipla has been stayed by a city civil court following the trademark dispute until the case is finally decided. The company is restrained from selling its food supplement I-OMEGA, though Palak Pharma does not have a registered trademark and its application is still pending. However, since Palak moved in the market with I-OMEGA a year before Cipla, the court held that Palak Pharma was entitled to passing-off action against Cipla “as both the trademarks are visually, phonetically and structurally found to be similar, which cause confusion and deception in consumer”.


Palak Pharma’s advocate Samrat Mehta submitted that his client had launched its product containing OMEGA 3 fatty acid and vitamins in 2014. Cipla introduced its product in 2015. Palak moved the court soon claiming that Cipla was passing-off its product under the trademark, for which an application is pending for registration.


Cipla rebutted by submitting that for passing off action, registration of trademark is necessary. OMEGA is a fatty acid, which is a name of chemical. The product is only a food supplement and not life saving drug. The use of “I” with OMEGA is generic and well-established practice in the market to refer to food supplement of OMEGA fatty acid. Moreover, Palak’s product comes in form of tablets, while Cipla sells in the form of capsules.


After hearing the case, chamber judge M K Chauhan concluded that both the trademarks are identical and sound familiar. Both the drugs are available in medical as well as in general provision stores. Both the drugs are used for dietary healthcare supplements with OMEGA 3 fatty acid.


There are chances of confusion and mistake while purchasing the product. Therefore, Palak Pharma is entitled to the interim injunction till the final outcome of the case.