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In the June quarter, HUL’s volumes grew by 12% compared to flat growth in the year-ago quarter. Photo: Reuters
In the June quarter, HUL’s volumes grew by 12% compared to flat growth in the year-ago quarter. Photo: Reuters

No interim relief for Emami over trademark row with HUL

  • The matter pertains to HUL's rebranding its popular skincare product ‘Fair & Lovely’ to ‘Glow & Lovely’
  • The single bench had on 6 July observed it did appear that HUL was the prior adopter of the mark

MUMBAI: The Bombay High Court on Thursday declined any interim relief to Emami Ltd against the trademark row with Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL). The Kolkata-based company had moved a divisional bench in Mumbai against a single bench order which had restrained it from initiating any legal proceedings against HUL for use of trademark 'Glow & Handsome' without giving a seven-day notice.

The divisional bench did not interfere as the original order had given Emami liberty to move the single bench for variation of the order after giving HUL 48 hours notice.

The matter pertains to HUL's rebranding and renaming of its popular skincare product ‘Fair & Lovely’ and ‘Men’s Fair & Lovely’ brands to ‘Glow & Lovely’ and ‘Glow & Handsome’. Emami had threatened legal recourse as it had launched ‘Glow & Handsome’ one week before HUL, announcing the name change. However HUL countered the claim as it had applied for the trademark before Emami.

The single bench, after hearing preliminary arguments on 6 July, had observed that ‘prima facie’ it did appear that HUL was the prior adopter of the mark, as it had filed its trademark application first in September 2018, and subsequently on 25 June 2020.

“The statements made by the defendant (Emami) do amount to a threat, however, whether they are unlawful or groundless, that is something that will have to be decided after hearing both the sides," the court said.

HUL in its petition earlier this month had claimed that it applied for trademark of the names of the women’s and men’s products with the Controller General of Patents Designs and Trade Marks, under the ministry of commerce and industry, in September and October 2018, respectively. The trademarks were denied on 26 July 2019.

The company reapplied for the names on 17 June and 25 June, respectively. The announcement was made on 2 July for the name change and the permission to sell the product under the new name came on 3 July, said HUL. While Emami had made trademark applications, it is yet to launch a product under these names, it added.

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