Gufic Biosciences, a small-cap Mumbai-based pharmaceutical company, has successfully survived a trademark infringement suit in the Supreme Court, filed by US-based multinational cosmetic major Estee Lauder.
In a recent judgment, a bench comprising Justice Sudershan Reddy and Surinder Singh Nijjar dismissed a special leave petition (SPL) filed by Estee Lauder arm Clinique Laboratories challenging the verdict of the Delhi High Court in April 2009, which went in favour of the Indian company.
In 2008, Ester Lauder had filed a case against Gufic to prevent the Indian company from selling its skin care brand Skinclinique Stretch Nil, alleging the product was similar to its 'Clinique' brand, sold internationally.
A single bench of the Delhi High Court on December 16, 2008, had restrained Gufic from using the brand, but a higher bench of the same court ruled in its favour in April, 2009.
The court observed there was substantial difference between the two trademarks and there was huge price difference between the two products.
"The ruling of the Supreme Court shows justice is on our side," said Pranav Choksi, Executive Director of Gufic Biosciences.
Skinclinique Stretch Nil, an Ayurvedic drug to treat stretch marks after pregnancy, is the flagship product of Rs 75 crore Gufic.
The product has an annual turnover of Rs 8 crore and has been marketed since 1997.