HP Ingredients Sues Sabinsa for Trademark Infringement and False and Misleading Advertising

On Monday, HP Ingredients Corp. filed a case in the District of New Jersey against Sabinsa Corporation for alleged trademark infringement as well as false and misleading advertising.

HP Ingredients is the holder of the registered trademark PARACTIN in connection with herbal extracts and specifically Andrographis paniculata herbal extract for immune support. The plaintiff has been using the PARACTIN brand name for its Andrographis extract for 16 years, and on March 21, 2011, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) declared the registration of PARACTIN as “incontestable.”

According to the complaint, PARACTINis the largest-selling brand of Andrographis paniculata extract in the United States. The plaintiff states it has heavily invested in patents, trademarks, marketing and clinical research to build consumer awareness for the PARACTIN® brand for at least 16 years, including more than 30 scientific studies.

HP Ingredients accuses Sabinsa of using the trade name PANACIN to market its own Andrographis paniculata standardized herbal extract. Allegedly, Sabinsa is selling PANICIN to identical intended end-users as PARACTIN and using the same marketing channels. HP Ingredients purports that Sabinsa is intending to deceive customers into thinking that PANICIN is the plaintiff’s PARACTIN Andrographis paniculata extract through its marketing and use of a confusingly similar name.

The plaintiff further alleges that Sabinsa’s advertising of PANICIN as an effective product for immune support is false and misleading and likely to cause consumer confusion. The complaint states that Sabinsa’s advertising of PANICIN is false and misleading because it has not published any research showing that PANICIN is in fact effective for immune support.

According to HP Ingredients, the defendant flatly refused to cease using the name PANICIN and Sabinsa’s catalog continues to market the PANICIN brand of Andrographis paniculate herbal extracts.

The plaintiff is suing for federal and New Jersey trademark infringement, false designation of origin and false advertising, trademark dilution, federal and New Jersey unfair competition and tortuous interference with economic advantage. The plaintiffs are represented by Pharmaceutical Patent Attorneys, LLC.