The Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) has issued a Show Cause Notice to Neucon Pakistan for copying the packaging of Biofreeze Gel and Spray, a product of the USA-based, Performance Health Inc., that is distributed in Pakistan by Ferozsons Laboratories Limited.
Ferozsons’ formal complaint to the CCP said that Neucon was using a deceptively similar trademark, packaging, and labeling of its product, Biofreeze, for its copied version of the product, BYQFREEZ.
It should be mentioned that Ferozsons is the authorized importer of the products of Performance Health, USA. These products, including Biofreeze, are duly registered with the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP). Biofreeze is also a registered trademark in the USA and with the Intellectual Property Organisation of Pakistan (IPO). Ferozsons said that this action by Neucon was misleading consumers.
The CCP’s inquiry confirmed that Performance Health Inc. is the first and rightful owner of the Biofreeze trademark and Ferozsons is its only registered distributor in Pakistan. Neucon was not authorized to use the registered Biofreeze trademark, hence, it was involved in trademark infringement.
The enquiry also found that Neucon Pakistan was engaged in copying the packaging of the product of Ferozsons Laboratories to deceive consumers and harm their business interests. Both these actions are a prima facie violation of Section 10 of the Competition Act. A Show Cause Notice has been served on Neucon Pakistan on recommendation of the inquiry report and the company has been directed to respond in writing within fourteen days.
CCP is mandated under the Competition Act to ensure free competition in all spheres of commercial and economic activity, to enhance economic efficiency and to protect consumers from anti-competitive practices including deceptive marketing practices.