Justice G.S. Sistiani of the Delhi High Court has restrained Nutritious & Spreads from infringing the “Nutralite” trademark of Zydus Wellness Ltd, which sells a similar product by the name of “Nutrabite”.
The plaintiff, Zydus had filed the suit for permanent injunction, restraining the infringement of copyright and damages in respect of their packaging for the product under the trademark. The plaintiff demanded an ex-parte interim order for injunction and the appointment of a Local Commissioner.
The suit concerned Zydus’s product- Nutralite, being copied by another product, Nutrabite. It was alleged that the defendants are illegally imitating plaintiff’s coveted product / name / packaging as well as entire get-up thereof by using the impugned name/packaging. It was also submitted that the defendants are offering for sale an identical product under visually and phonetically similar trade mark.
Counsel for the plaintiff, Ms. Pratibha M. Singh submitted that the plaintiff has undertaken sufficient advertising and promotional projects, the product being sold under unique yellow packaging with the mark NUTRALITE written in bold blue script. Hence, any similar design as well as the name would be related back to Zydus. The artistic work in the packaging has been protected under Section 2 of the Copyright Act, 1956.
The comparative chart between the designs of the two products, as submitted to the court, showed similarities between the packaging. The Counsel submitted that if the defendants are not restrained, plaintiff would suffer irreparable loss of reputation and goodwill and injury.
The Judge noticed the similarities and passed an interim order, restraining the sale, advertisement and promotion of the product, Nutrabite.
Advocate Mahira Soomar was appointed as the Local Commissioner and was directed to make an inventory of the premises, as also to take the infringing products into custody.
Zydus is engaged in manufacturing and marketing of several nutritional products, in addition to nutraceuticals, cosmetics and food. It has achieved an enviable reputation and goodwill in the field over the years.
Mr Elkana Ezekiel, managing director, Zydus Wellness Ltd. reportedly stated that Nutralite's margarine is positioned as a premium table spread which is "lighter than butter", low on calories with no trans-fat and fortified with Vitamin A, D and E. The Company's spokesperson was quoted as stating that, "Zydus Wellness has built the Nutralite brand into a trusted mark through years of consistent effort. Zydus Wellness is determined to restrain those who intend to pass off a look-alike product as Nutralite."
The court issued summons to the defendant and fixed the next date of hearing on 23rd September.