A civil court on Tuesday issued a notice to the Serum Institute of India (SII) on a suit filed by a pharmaceutical products manufacturer and seller seeking to restrain the former from using trademark 'Covishield' or any other similar names for its upcoming COVID-19 vaccine.
The Nanded-based firm, Cutis-Biotech, in its suit filed on Monday through advocate Aditya Soni, claimed it has been using the trademark 'Covishield' for its products like antiseptic, sanitisers, disinfectant liquid, surface de- containment spray and fruit and vegetable washing liquid since 2020.
As per the suit, the firm filed an application for registration of 'Covishield' trademark on April 29, 2020, which is pending and the firm is using the trademark since May 30, 2020, for its products. The suit has sought an injunction against the SII from using the name 'Covishield' for its vaccine for the coronavirus.
The court issued a notice to the Pune-based vaccine maker SII, seeking its response to the suit, and posted the suit for hearing on January 19. Cutis-Biotech added that the SII has also filed trademark applications for other names such as "COVIDOROTECT, COVID-VAC, COVI-VAC, COVI-VAXX" and thus could use any of these names for their vaccine.
Soni said on December 7 last year, the plaintiff came across news that the SII has applied before the Drugs Controller General of India for immediate approval of the COVID-19 vaccine under the brand of "Covishield" in India. The suit said it was not seeking any restraint on the SII from launching the vaccine but the name should not be 'Covishield'. The suit stated that the SII vaccine is yet to be launched in the market.
"Therefore, if the injunction is issued against the defendant restraining it from using the trademark of the plaintiff (Covishield), no inconvenience is going to be caused to the vaccine maker."
"However if the SII launches its product under the brand 'Covishield', injury and damage would be caused to Cutis-Biotech," the suit said. Message sent to the SII seeking reaction to the suit did not elicit any response.