PATANJALI & its Unattended Grey Market
Trademarkclick .com 25 Apr 2019

PATANJALI & its Unattended Grey Market

Patanjali Ayurved Limited (PAL) was established in the year 2006 and is a leading manufacturer and marketer of herbal, nature-based products and herbal medicines under the mark/logo "PATANJALI" in various classes and also in various countries and the mark/logo enjoys Trans-Border reputation and goodwill & the products are available globally through its authorized distribution channels.

It was brought to the knowledge of PAL, that the goods which were meant for the Indian Markets were being illegally exported. This lead to infringing there exclusive right to use the mark/logo under Section 29 (1) & (6) of the Trade Marks Act, 1999. After this, PAL filed complaints with Commissioner of Customs but the Customs Authorities told that the Intellectual Property Rules do not apply to exports and no action can be taken against the same.

After this PAL then filed a complaint against 12 entities in the Delhi High Court seeking an ex-parte ad-interim injunction for export of the goods in the International market, stating that PAL does not have any authorized channel for export and is only done through PAL itself under its IEC No.- 0506062686. PAL also mentioned that the packaging of the products for sale in the Indian markets was completely different from those of the exports. PAL further stated that the products exported by the companies do not comply with legal requirements whereas the PAL's products were according to the standards of the country where the products were being exported leading to a grave risk to the goodwill and reputation of PAL and also put a great impact on the sale of PAL goods.

The companies used the mark/logo of PAL without any license, permission or authority. PAL further mentioned that the goods were tampered or altered by putting stickers of the changed expiration dates which lead to a risk to the quality of the products and also the reputation towards it and also defrauding the general public. This lead to the creation of an unattended grey market which leads PAL to great risks towards the buyers thinking the products to be of PAL.

PAL also mentioned about Section 30(4) of the Trade Marks Act, 1999 which states that if the condition of the goods has been changed or impaired to put in the market, then the Proprietor can oppose the same, so the Court stated that the entities can alter the product but only under the said Section but here attaching the stickers and changing the facts about ingredients lead to material change in the product which attracted the said Section.

Justice Sanjeev Narula in its Order, restrained the respondents from exporting the goods of PAL though they were allowed to sell the goods in the Indian market. The next hearing of this matter is scheduled to take place on May 16, 2019. Justice was served to PAL as it would have caused a great damage/loss if the respondents were not restrained from exporting the said goods.

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