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June 20, 2024

Legal Issues Seminar -General IP (LIS-GIP) On Can Distinctiveness Of Pharmaceutical Drugs Be Claimed On The Basis Of Shape Or Colour?

Featuring: Madhulika Tyagi

A ‘Legal Issues Seminar – General IP’ (LIS-GIP) was conducted by Madhulika Tyagi, Associate Trainee on “Can Distinctiveness of Pharmaceutical Drugs be Claimed on the Basis of Shape or Colour?”. The seminar explored multiple High Court rulings which reject claims of distinctiveness solely based on the shape or colour of pharmaceutical drugs. It discussed how Courts view similarities in appearance as insufficient for claims of passing off, given that doctors prescribe medicines based on their composition rather than visual characteristics, thereby reducing the likelihood of confusion. The members analysed cases where Courts acknowledged that a drug’s presentation could imply a common source and gain secondary significance, warranting legal protection. Nevertheless, the consensus was that while trade dress theoretically could be safeguarded in pharmaceuticals, it is typically considered less critical compared to the drug’s name and formulation in legal contexts.

The presentation can be accessed here.

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