Fight for Life: new Thermo Fisher acquisition loses out in India

By Gareth Macdonald

- Last updated on GMT

Life changing ruling in India?
Life changing ruling in India?
Life Technologies has had its efforts to stop an Indian namesake using certain trademarks and web domains thrown out by the Delhi High Court.

When Thermo Fisher Scientific completed its $13.6bn acquisition of Life Technologies (LTC) this month a leading US analyst told us the deal had given the firm a leadership position in several fields, citing the latter’s Gibco media range as an example​.

While this may be the case, a new ruling in India means that – at present - Thermo will not be able to use the domain Gibcobrlindia.com to market its products.

The decision brought to an end LTC's efforts to stop Life Technologies India Private Ltd (LTIPL) using the "Life Technologies" and "Life Tech" tradenames or the domains Lifetechindia.com, Lifetechnologiesindia.co.in, LifetechnologiesIndia.Com, Gibcobrlindia.com and Invitrogenindia.com.

Indian split

The seeds of the legal fight were shown in 2002 when LTIPL bought firm ATZ Lab Solutions India Private Limited from Life Technologies, which was then known as Invitrogen. Through the deal LTIPL also took control of Invitrogen India Pvt Ltd and Gibcobril India Pvt Limited.

However, the real battle began in 2010 when LTC asked the US National Arbitration Forum (NAF) to force ATZ to give up the domain names gibcobrlindia.com and invitrogenindia.com, which was dismissed.

LTC’s response was to ask its Indian namesake (LTIPL) if it could buy or license IP including the trademarks Life Technologies, lifetechindia.com, gibcobrlindia.com, and invitrogenindia.com, which the Indian firm declined.

LTC subsequently asked the High Court of Delhi to stop LTIPL using the trademarks and it was this request that the Court dismissed on January 29.

In a press statement issued this week LTIPL managing director Rajan Sahni said: “After nearly 20 months of hearing, the Hon'ble High Court of Delhi has dismissed LTC's application thereby vacating its earlier ex-parte ad-interim injunction.

The Hon'ble High Court observed that the litigation commenced only after LTC had lost before NAF for taking another chance to somehow or the other get back the suit marks, domain names etc. from the defendants over which Invitrogen Corporation itself had been left with no rights much before the re-incorporation/resurrection of plaintiff no.1 in the year 2008.

The Hon'ble High Court has further held that LTC themselves have accepted the position that the suit trademarks etc. stood vested in ATZ Labs/LTIPL​.”

Thermo Fisher did not respond to BioPharma-Reporter.com’s request for comment ahead of publication.

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