TCM brands with similar recipe in legal dispute

By Hao Nan ( China Daily ) Updated: 2014-01-22 07:18:13

Two brands of traditional Chinese medicine with a common origin are headed to court over a trademark dispute.

Zhangzhou Pien Tze Huang Pharmaceutical Co recently announced that it had filed a lawsuit against Xiamen Traditional Chinese Medicine Co, claiming that the defendant infringed on its right to the trademark of its top product Pien Tze Huang, according to a report from National Business Daily.

In the announcement, it also made allegations of unfair competition, saying the Xiamen company's advertisement made false comparisons between its own Babao Dan and Pien Tze Huang, causing injury to the latter's reputation.

The plaintiff has asked for 30 million yuan ($4.9 million) as compensation and that the Xiamen company stop the advertisements on the Chinese mainland, in Hong Kong, Indonesia and other countries and regions where its product is sold.

The Zhangzhou intermediate people's court accepted the case on Jan 17.

Pien Tze Huang is a famous Chinese traditional medicine used to help relieve internal heat, flush out toxins, cool the blood and reduce stasis. It is one of the national confidential varieties of traditional Chinese medicines.

The drug can also be used to treat acute, chronic or vital hepatitis, infections and inflammations as well as injuries resulting from falls, fractures, contusions and sprains.

On the other hand, Babao Dan, which literally means "pastille of eight treasures", boasts the similar functions as Pien Tze Huang, because the two traditional medicines are developed from a common ancient recipe that was invented by an imperial doctor in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), according to Xiamen Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Now, the modern recipes of these two medicines are different, but still share many similarities.

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