Bacho /
4 November 2016Americas

More than 300 parties barred from selling ‘grey market’ Abbott goods

The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has affirmed a ruling of a district court in a trademark infringement dispute between Abbott Laboratories and pharmacies, distributors and individuals.

The district court granted Abbott a preliminary injunction prohibiting the majority of companies involved in the case from importing and distributing grey market FreeStyle products.

FreeStyle is a glucose monitoring system belonging to Abbott which is used to check the blood sugar level of patients with diabetes.

According to the non-precedential ruling yesterday, November 3, the appeals court explained that the district court may grant the preliminary injunction.

H&H Wholesale Services, one of the defeated companies which was sued by Abbott, argued that the district court abused its discretion in finding that Abbott was likely to succeed on the merits of its trademark infringement claims brought against H&H.

H&H and Matrix, another defeated company, argued that the district court also abused its discretion in finding a likelihood of irreparable harm in the absence of preliminary relief.

The Second Circuit said: “We find no abuse of discretion in the district court’s thorough and well-reasoned order.”

Geoffrey Potter, counsel to Abbott and a partner with Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler, said:“I am not at all surprised that the Second Circuit affirmed Judge Amon’s preliminary injunction less than a week after oral argument.”

He added: “The many differences between FreeStyle brand test strips sold domestically and the grey-market international test strips are highly confusing. In fact, the differences are so profound that the defendants moved to stay the civil case on Fifth Amendment grounds, arguing that they are likely to be criminally indicted for selling a misbranded medical device.”

Following the case, more than 300 defendants are enjoined from selling grey market FreeStyle goods.

Potter also said: “This broad injunction provides important protection to both patients that test with FreeStyle and Abbott’s trademarks.”

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