Thursday, February 17, 2011

Stop playing Tom & Jerry, high court tells pharma cosmpany

Ahmedabad: The Gujarat high court compared an intellectual property rights dispute involving various pharmaceutical companies with the famous Walt Disney cartoon series ‘Tom & Jerry’. 
   The judge felt that various litigations by the companies in different courts have resulted in a confusion, and to resolve it the companies should settle the trademark dispute amicably by entering into a dialogue.
   Parth Parenteral Private Limited (PPPL) and Pearl Drugs Private Limited (PDPL) had approached the Gujarat high court last year regarding the decision to not stay Ranbaxy Fine Chemicals Ltd (RFCL) and other companies from using the trademark CAPSOLA for their animal feed supplement. They moved the high court after a civil court in Gandhinagar refused to grant the stay.
   Justice A S Dave heard the history of the registration of trademark of CAPSOLA by both the companies in different categories and classes. The court also heard about various agreements between the rival companies about the sale of the product and use of the trademark. During the hearing, it also transpired how the dispute arose regarding the trademark.
   Interestingly, similar complaints related to infringement on trademark rights were filed in Delhi courts. A single-judge bench in Delhi high court ordered an interim stay in one petition, while a division bench vacated it while acting on an appeal in this case. The litigants argued at length before the Gujarat high court about the possible impact of the stay and vacation of stay by the Delhi high court on a trial court in Gandhinagar.
   Justice Dave refused to interfere in the order of the Gandhinagar court saying, “The pendulum of settlement of the dispute in the meeting and parleys between the parties swing on the basis of outcome of litigation undertaken by the parties against each other. Instead of playing game like ‘Tom & Jerry’, it is advisable and also in the interest of the parties to settle the dispute amicably by entering into a dialogue on their own or by taking assistance of arbitrator/mediator.”

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