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Even as health advisories issued across the world call for the use of any soap to fight the war against the novel Coronavirus, the makers of Lifebuoy and Dettol went to battle with each other before the Bombay High Court.
After Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) approached the High Court against Reckitt Benckiser for an advertisement allegedly disparaging the former’s brand of soap, the latter company has agreed to suspend the ad from March 22 to April 21.
HUL, the makers of Lifebuoy had filed a plea before the High Court contending that the makers of Dettol were maliciously publishing advertisements against its product, as also infringing its trademark rights.
HUL states that in public interest, it had published ads across various media trying to promote the washing of hands to fight the spread of COVID-19.
“With the outbreak of the Corona Virus, the Plaintiff has therefore stepped up its advertisements with a view to once again create an awareness and to promote the washing of hands. The Plaintiff is therefore also advertising its product Lifebuoy soap whereby it is conveying the message to consumers at large that it is the effective germ removal product…
…The Plaintiff has also, since about January 2020, for public awareness, published a notice in several newspapers that “coronavirus can be fought by frequent washing of hand with soap or by use of instant germ-kill with alcohol based sanitizer when someone is out of home. The notice further instructs that a doctor should be visited in case of cold or cough and sufficient rest should be taken. The Plaintiff has in the interest of the public also indicated that any soap can be used not just “Lifebuoy” but also Lux, Dettol, Santoor or Godrej No. 1.”