10 May 2018Americas

Celgene drops trademark claim against online pharmacies

Biopharmaceutical company Celgene has ditched its trademark quarrel with the owners of India-based online pharmacies importing generics into the US.

Earlier in May, Celgene filed its notice of voluntary dismissal and on Tuesday, May 8, District Judge Kevin McNulty dismissed the dispute with prejudice.

In July last year, Celgene accused the online pharmacies of infringing the ‘Revlimid’ trademark in a claim filed at the US District Court for the District of New Jersey.

Revlimid (lenalidomide), which fights abnormal cells in the bone marrow and allows normal cells to perform their functions, is used to treat various cancers.

According to the claim, the defendants controlled a number of websites which sold generic, unauthorised and unregulated lenalidomide to consumers in the US.

“Because of the potential toxicity of Revlimid, and in an effort to minimise the chance of foetal exposure to Revlimid, Revlimid is approved for marketing only under a special restricted distribution programme approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA),” said Celgene.

The biopharma company owns two US trademark registrations for ‘Revlimid’, covering class 5, which includes “pharmaceutical preparations for the treatment of certain cancers”.

Celgene alleged that the defendants sold generic lenalidomide to US consumers through websites including Through its counsel, Celgene sent a cease-and-desist letter.

In August 2016, Celgene became aware that the defendants were still using Celgene’s Revlimid trademarks in connection with advertising lenalidomide.

“Despite receiving further notice of their infringing activities, the defendants, through the website, wilfully continue to use the Revlimid mark without authorisation and wilfully continue to distribute lenalidomide without authorisation and outside of the FDA-mandated restricted distribution programme,” said the claim.

At the time of filing the lawsuit, Celgene was seeking an injunction, destruction of the infringing goods, and an order “placing reasonable but effective restrictions on the future transactions and activities of the defendants so as to prevent fraud on the court”.

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