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Singapore Medical Group faces alleged trademark infringement for SW1 acquisition

CATALIST-listed clinic operator Singapore Medical Group (SMG) said on Friday night that a suit had been brought against it on Oct 30 last year, relating to alleged trademark and copyright infringements by an aesthetic company that SMG acquired in March this year.

The suit was commenced by Eastlife, Maxglobe and other plaintiffs, against SMG and other defendants, including SMG's two new doctors, Dr Low Chai Ling and Dr Kenneth Lee Cheng San.

Eastlife and Maxglobe operated various medical aesthetics clinics under the name of "The Sloane Clinics", which Dr Low and Dr Lee founded.

"As there were critical issues with the business and the main shareholders which were not within their control, Dr Low and Dr Lee decided to resign," SMG said.

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Dr Low and Dr Lee then set up a company, Pheniks, to own and operate a medical aesthetics clinic under a new brand name, "SW1".

In March this year, SMG invested in the SW1 clinic by purchasing an 85 per cent stake in Pheniks.

The plaintiffs allege that SMG conspired with Dr Low and Dr Lee to pass off the new SW1 Clinic as a Sloane Clinic.

The plaintiffs also filed an application for various interlocutory injunctions requiring the two doctors and other defendants to enforce certain non-compete clauses to prevent them from working at the SW1 Clinic, among other things.

SMG said it is not using any of the disputed trademarks, and the plaintiffs subsequently withdrew their application for the majority of the interlocutory injunctions, although it did not specify which.

SMG said that the claims are without merit and unlikely to have a material adverse impact on its financial performance.

SMG shares fell one cent or 1.98 per cent to S$0.495 on Friday before the announcement was made.