November 12, 2016 — Pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has won a trademark infringement dispute in India. The High Court of Delhi granted GSK a permanent injunction restraining GSK Life Sciences (the defendant) from using the ‘GSK’ trademark as part of its trade name.
GSK filed the suit after it became aware of the Defendeant’s use of the mark. Relying on Section 29(5) of the Trade Marks Act, 1999, GSK claimed that the Defendant’s use of the ‘GSK’ name, mark and logo in relation to pharmaceutical products amounted to infringement of its trademark rights in ‘GSK’.
“The plaintiffs further state that the business cards used by the defendant’s representatives show that they are not only using the mark/name ‘GSK’ as part of their trade name but are also using the logo in the drop form inscribing the letters ‘GSK’, which is exactly similar to the plaintiffs’ logo,” said the court.
GSK also claimed that the trademark in question is a well-known mark and as such deserves stronger protection.
The company stated that upon learning of the Defendant’s use of the ‘GSK’ mark, it sent a cease-and-desist letter to one Gadikota Sarath Kumar Reddy, a director of the company. According to the suit, Reddy claimed that the company was using ‘GSK’ as the letters represent some of his initials.
The court issued a permanent injunction restraining the defendant from using the mark. The court however refused to award damages to GSK on grounds that the company had shown sufficient evidence to indicate the extent of the defendant’s sales as well as to quantify its loss.