New Delhi: The Delhi high court on Monday refused interim relief to Reckitt Benckiser (India) Ltd, maker of Dettol antiseptic soap, in a case filed against Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL), which makes the Lifebuoy soap.
Reckitt Benckiser had filed a suit over a Lifebuoy advertisement, which announced a challenge to its competitors’ products. In the advertisement, Lifebuoy offered Rs.10 crore to anyone who could prove that any other soap was better than Lifebuoy.
Reckitt Benckiser’s counsel Chander Lall told the court that HUL’s advertisement amounted to design and trademark infringement and was a “denigration” of Dettol since “the protagonist in the advertisement is shown to be rejecting all other soaps, apart from Lifebuoy, including one looking like Dettol”. He also said that the terms and conditions of the challenge expressly mentioned Dettol as a competitor soap.
Reckitt Benckiser had sought to restrain HUL from continuing airing the advertisement and damages of Rs.2 crore.
Justice G.P. Mittal, however, said he was not inclined to grant an injunction at this stage.