Dermatologist fights off corporate giant in ‘Enrich’ trademark dispute

Cosmetic dermatology

By Michael Woodhead

23 Jan 2020

Victorian dermatologist Dr Michael Rich has had a legal win over corporate giant Johnson & Johnson after it tried to block him from using his practice name ‘Enrich Dermatology Cosmetic Clinic’ as a trademark.

Dr Rich applied to register his Melbourne clinic’s name as a trademark in 2016, specifying that the name would apply to the provision of medical and cosmetic services, skin products such as lotions and beauty/cosmetic products.

But the application was opposed by J&J, the multibillion dollar US healthcare corporation whose business spans consumer health and beauty care products as well as pharmaceuticals such as Stelara (ustekinumab), and medical devices such as DePuy.

J&J claimed that Dr Rich’s application would effectively create a trademark for the word ‘Enrich’ and that this was not specific enough to his business activities.

However in a review conducted by the  Australian Trademarks Office, Dr Rich successfully defended his use of the term as part of a composite trademark that included the  terms dermatology and cosmetic clinic.

The trademarks officer said he found that the inclusion of these words within a unique T-shaped design was enough to distinguish Dr Rich’s business products from those of other businesses.

“A consumer, when looking at the Trade Mark as a whole applied to the Applicant’s Goods, is unlikely to read the ‘enrich’ element by itself,” he concluded

“Rather … that consumer is likely to perceive the Trade Mark as indicating a connection between the Applicant’s Goods and a cosmetic clinic or dermatology practitioner trading under the Enrich name.”

“The words ‘dermatology’ and ‘cosmetic clinic’ do not simply embellish ‘enrich’ rather they change the overall concept of the trade mark from a descriptive term to one that refers to a product being supplied from a particular and identified cosmetic clinic (the Enrich Cosmetic Clinic).”

The trademarks office ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay the costs of the legal action.

On his Enrich Clinic website, Dr Rich says he has 30 years experience as a cosmetic dermatologist in Melbourne and is a highly regarded liposuction specialist . The Enrich clinic is described as specialising in the latest technology in cosmetic surgery, liposuction, cosmetic lasers, and non-surgical and anti-ageing treatments.

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