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HC asks guilty pharma co to give ₹1.50 cr for Kerala flood relief

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The court was hearing a suit filed by Glenmark Pharmaceuticals against Galpha Laboratories for allegedly infringing upon its medicinal cream products

The Bombay High Court has ordered a pharmaceutical company to deposit INR 1.50 crore towards the Kerala Chief Minister’s Fund for flood relief work in a trademark infringement case. Justice SJ Kathawalla on August 28 held that Galpha Laboratories was a ‘habitual infringer’ of various medicinal products, whose trademarks have been registered by other pharma companies.

The court was hearing a suit filed by Glenmark Pharmaceuticals against Galpha Laboratories for allegedly infringing upon its medicinal cream products. According to Glenmark, the defendant companies were selling a cream ‘Clodid B’ with the same design and pattern as that of Glenmark’s ‘Candid B’ cream.

The court accepted the arguments and noted that there has been a systematic copy of Glenmark Pharmaceutical’s products.

“Drugs are not sweets. Pharmaceutical companies which provide medicines for health of the consumers have a special duty of care towards them,” Justice Kathawalla said in his order.

“These companies, in fact, have a greater responsibility towards the general public. However, nowadays, the corporate and financial goals of such companies cloud the decision of its executives whose decisions are incentivised by profits, more often than not, at the cost of public health. This case is a perfect example of just that,” the court said.

The court directed Galpha Laboratories to deposit a sum of INR 1.50 crore towards the Kerala Chief Minister’s Fund to be used for the relief work in the aftermath of the recent floods.

“Considering the catastrophe that has hit Kerala recently and the fact that Kerala flood situation is a disaster of serious nature, which has been categorised as L3 Level of disaster by the National Disaster Management Guidelines, Galpha Laboratories should pay the costs of INR 1,50,00,000 as a donation to the Kerala Chief Minister Distress Relief Fund,” the court ordered.

The court initially said that Galpha would have to pay the sum to Glenmark. However, Glenmark requested the court to direct Galpha Laboratories to deposit the sum in any NGO. Following this, Justice Kathawalla directed for the money to be deposited in the Kerala Chief Minister’s Fund.

The court also accepted Galpha Laboratories’ assurance that it would not infringe on any other products of any other company in the future.

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