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A ‘Dettol’ ad purposely showing ‘Lifebuoy’ ineffective for Covid-19, suspended after HUL moved the Bombay High Court

Team SoOLEGAL 24 Mar 2020 4:03pm

A ‘Dettol’ ad purposely showing ‘Lifebuoy’ ineffective for Covid-19, suspended after HUL moved the Bombay High Court

In the current scenario i.e. the outbreak of the Coronavirus, the Bombay High Court decided a controversy between Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) and Reckitt Benckiser. The dispute was regarding disparagement and infringement of trademark and copyright against Reckitt Benckiser alleging that the advertisement of their product ‘Dettol’ seeks to convey to the public that HUL’s ‘Lifebuoy’ is ineffective for Covid-19.

HUL, makers of Lifebuoy had lodged a complaint before the High Court of Bombay alleging that Dettol's makers were maliciously publishing ads against their product, and has been violating their trademark rights.

Senior Advocate Virag Tulzapurkar appeared for the plaintiff HUL and Senior Advocate Chander Lall along with Jawaharlal appeared for the defendants.

Plaintiffs contended that, since the start of the year 2020 they have been spreading awareness regarding the Coronavirus and has also indicated in the interest of the public that any soap can be used for cleaning purposes. It was also said that the World Health Organisation (WHO) has also stated that any soap is sufficient for killing the virus while washing hands.

However, around March 12, 2020, the plaintiff came across the impugned "Dettol Liquid Hand Wash" commercial denigrating the "Lifebuoy Soap".

HUL asked for a lifetime injunction to prevent Reckitt from airing the ad in question. An injunction was also sought against the denigration of the Lifebuoy soap goods.

When the matter came up before Justice KR Shriram on March 20, a statement was made in the favour of HUL and subsequently Reckitt had to suspend the ad from 12 pm on March 22 to 5 pm on April 21. The matter has been adjourned till April 20.



Tagged: Hindustan Unilever Limited   Coronavirus   Bombay High Court   trademark   copyright   Lifebuoy   Dettol   Covid-19   World Health Organisation  
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