SII faces litigation over ‘Covishield’ trademark

By: |
January 7, 2021 7:30 AM

A commercial court in Pune has issued notice to SII on Tuesday seeking its response

The HLL Lifecare Limited, a public sector undertaking, issued the supply orders on behalf of the Union Health Ministry on Monday.The HLL Lifecare Limited, a public sector undertaking, issued the supply orders on behalf of the Union Health Ministry on Monday.

The Serum Institute of India (SII) has got into a legal tangle with a pharma company that is claiming to have rights to the ‘Covishield’ trademark. A commercial court in Pune has issued notice to SII on Tuesday seeking its response. SII did not comment on the development. ‘Covishield’ is the brand name used by SII for the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine, being readied for roll-out across the country soon.

Cutis Biotech, a 10-year-old pharma company from Nanded in Maharashtra, has filed for a perpetual injunction suit against SII in the Pune commercial court. Cutis claimed that it had applied for the trademark for ‘Covishield’ before SII did.

Cutis had in December 2020 filed a suit in the Nanded Court regarding this. Cutis, in its application, stated that it had applied for the ‘Covishield’ trademark on April 25, 2020, after a thorough search. Their application was pending before the trademark office. The Cutis application also stated that the ‘Covishield’ name was meant to be used for its medicinal and pharmaceutical items and food supplements for humans and animals, and the company had started selling products under this brand name since May 2020.

According to Cutis, they came across the news of Serum Institute applying to the Drugs Controller General of India for approval of ‘Covishield’.

This created a problem for Cutis as their customers refrained from placing orders over concerns regarding the use of the ‘Covishield’ brand name. As a result, Cutis filed a suit on December 11, 2020, at the Nanded court. SII challenged the jurisdiction of the Nanded Court at a hearing on the matter and the case is still pending before the Nanded Court.

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