Franco Indian Pharmaceuticals Pvt Ltd vs. Juzer Mukhiya Proprietor of Franco Remedies & Anr [Comm IP Suit(L) No. 19151/2021] Order dt. 20/09/2021, Bombay High Court

Recently, the Bombay High Court granted an ad-interim ex-parte injunction in favour of Franco Indian Pharmaceuticals Pvt. Ltd. (“Plaintiff”) restricting Juzer Mukhiya, proprietor of Franco Remedies & Anr. (“Defendants”) from using the trade marks FRANCO and FRANCO REMEDIES or any other mark deceptively similar to the Plaintiff’s trade name, in relation to medicinal and pharmaceutical preparations and/or as part of their trading/corporate name. 

The Plaintiff owned a trade mark registration for FRANCO-INDIAN PHARMACEUTICALS PVT LTD Device since 1959 in Class 5. It also had websites with domain names comprising of the words FRANCO-INDIAN. In July 2021, the Plaintiff came across Defendants’ capsules bearing the mark FRANCO. The Defendants were also using FRANCO-REMEDIES as a trading name and had applied for registration of the mark FRANCO-REMEDIES Device.  

The court held that FRANCO is a distinctive and coined mark, which was conceived and adopted in 1959 and used by the Plaintiff as a part of its trading name. The court further held that it is well-settled that a corporate name has many features of a trade mark and the statute itself now explicitly recognizes this. Thus, the court held that the Plaintiff had “safely” made out a sufficient prima facie case and the balance of convenience is with them. Accordingly, the court passed an order in the Plaintiff’s favour.