Patanjali’s Anti-Dabur Propaganda Halted By Delhi HC; Stops Their Chyawanprash Ad From Airing
This is an unprecented move by Indian Judiciary.
In an unprecedented move seldom witnessed in India, Judiciary has jumped into the war of advertisements, and taken strict action against a brand, for mocking and denigrating another brand.
Patanjali has been ordered by Delhi High Court to immediately stop airing their Chyawanprash advertisement, which has been found to be belittling Dabur’s traditional Chyawanprash.
Will this set a precedent? Will Patanjali’s brand value diminish after this judgement?
Dabur India: Patanjali Is Harming Our Brand
Dabur India had appealed in Delhi High Court, asked them to ban Patanjali’s advertisement for Chyawanprash, wherein a product has been showcased as their rival’s Chyawanprash, which has the same packaging and structure like that of Dabur India’s Chyawanprash product.
As per the appeal by Dabur, any illiterate or semi-illiterate person will confuse that rival’s product with Dabur India’s Chyawanprash, and have a bad impression. The advertisement by Patanjali mocks and belittles that rival’s product, and claims that their Chyawanprash is better than the competitor’s Chyawanprash.
Indirectly, Patanjali claims that Dabur’s Chyawanprash is not pure.
In their arguments, Dabur India claimed that the “trade dress and packaging” of the product in Patanjali’s advertisement is same as that of their own product. Their appeal stated, “The trade dress and the overall get up of Dabur Chyawanprash packaging on account of acquired distinctiveness, constitutes a trademark within the meaning of the Trademarks Act 1999 and thus it ought to be protected and prevented against the dilution, misuse, misappropriation and acts of infringement,”
Delhi High Court to Patanjali: Stop It!
Agreeing with Dabur India’s appeal, the bench consisting of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar has ordered Patanjali to immediately stop airing the advertisement in all forms of media.
This is an interim order till September 26th, after which another round of hearing will commence.
The bench said, “We are prima facie satisfied that an interim protection is necessary in the matter,”
Dabur India had also sought compensation of Rs 2.01 crore for the damage done on their branding.
Patanjali’s Tryst With Bad Publicity
In June, Nepal had ordered Patanjali to withdraw 6 products after they failed microbial tests and were found to be ‘sub-standard’ quality.
These products were: Patanjali’s Amla Churna of batch no AMC067, Divya Gashar Churna of batch no A-GHCI31, Bahuchi Churna of batch no BKC 011, Triphala Churna of batch no A-TPC151, Aswangandha of batch no AGC 081 and Adviya Churna of batch no DYC 059.
In April this year, when Indian Army declared that Patanjali’s Amla Juice is not safe for consumption, Baba Ramdev had argued that Army’s tests were wrong.
And last year, when ASCI rapped Patanjali over unfair advertisement for some of their best selling products, Baba Ramdev had declared entire ASCI as an unconstitutional body.
How will Patanjali respond now? Will they challenge Delhi HC?
We will keep you updated as we receive more information and inputs on this issue.