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Brand war: Emami’s Zandu Balm wins disparagement case against Reckitt’s Moov

Emami had challenged Reckitt’s claim in an advertisement that their product is twice more effective than Emami’s Zandu Balm

BestMediaInfo Bureau | Delhi | February 11, 2016

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A Supreme Court bench of Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Prafulla C Pant, on February 8, 2016, dismissed the appeal filed by Reckitt-Benckiser challenging a judicial injunction brought by Emami Limited against an advertisement of the pain ointment ‘Moov’ manufactured by the former.

Reckitt had aired an advertisement showing that their product is twice more effective than Emami’s brand Zandu Balm. It was further claimed that Moov contained twice the number of active ingredients compared to Zandu Balm and hence it is twice effective and stronger.

Emami challenged the product superiority claim by Reckitt made in the said advertisement at the Alipore District Court in Kolkata for infringement and disparagement. The Kolkata court issued an order of judicial injunction restraining the defendant from airing the concerned advertisement for Moov with the frames showing Zandu Balm and the words "Jisme hai promukh balm ke mukable do guna jada active ingredients."

Challenging the order, defendant Reckitt-Benckiser had moved the Calcutta High Court and filed an appeal against the injunction as given by the lower court. However, confirming the stand as taken by the plaintiff Emami Limited, the High Court upheld the injunction order as passed by the lower court in view of the fact that the defendant failed to produce any relevant records/reports before the judiciary to support its claim that their brand is twice effective than Emami’s Zandu Balm.

In retort to this, the defendant finally moved to the apex court of the country challenging the Kolkata High Court’s order. On February 8, the appeal was listed for final disposal in the Supreme Court. The said injunction was again upheld, dismissing the appeal of Reckitt-Benckiser, holding that there was no ground for interference on the concurrent finding of the lower courts and thus sustaining the judicial injunction against the MOOV advertisement.

Reckitt-Benckiser has been finally restrained by the  Supreme Court from airing the impugned ad of Moov pain ointment thus holding up Emami Limited’s objection to the false claim about product superiority being made by Reckitt.

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