HC fines Patanjali 10 Lakh for chasing profits amid COVID fear

Madras: The Madras High Court on Thursday slapped a penalty of Rs 10 lakh on Patanjali Ayurved Ltd for “chasing profits by exploiting people’s fear and panic” to sell its immunity booster tablet Coronil.

The court also refused to vacate the interim injunction restraining Patanjali from using the name Coronil for its tablet in a trademark infringement case.

Justice C V Karthikeyan had passed the interim order valid till July 30 on the plea of Chennai-based company Arudra Engineering Private Limited which has claimed that ‘Coronil’ is a trademark owned by it since 1993.

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The company, which is into manufacturing chemicals and sanitisers to clean heavy machineries and containment units, has registered ‘Coronil-213 SPL’ and ‘Coronil-92B’ in 1993 and has been diligently renewing the trademark since then and claims the trademark is valid till 2027.

Apart from Patanjali, the other defendant in the case was Divya Yog Mandir Trust that makes the tablet.

The court order came in the petition filed by Patanjali and Divya Yog to vacate the interim injunction against the use of the name Coronil for its tablet.

The court said: “Insofar as costs are concerned, the defendants have repeatedly projected that they are Rs 10,000 crore company. However, they are still chasing further profits by exploiting the fear and panic among the general public by projecting a cure for the coronavirus, when actually their ‘Coronil Tablet’ is not a cure but rather an immunity booster for cough, cold and fever.”

“The defendants must realize that there are organisations which are helping the people in this critical period without seeking recognition and it would only be appropriate that they are made to pay costs to them,” it ruled.

The court ordered Patanjali and Divya Yog to pay Rs 5 lakh each to the Adyar Cancer Institute and to Government Yoga and Naturopathy Medical College and Hospital where treatment are accorded free of cost without any claim to either trademark, trade name, patent or design, but only with service as a motto, the court said.

“Costs to be paid on or before August 21 and a memo in this regard, to be filed before the Registry, High Court Madras, on or before August 25” it ordered.

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