Thursday, February 28, 2008

Courts' Approach in Granting Interim Injunctions

THE APPROACH FOLLOWED by the courts in granting or refusing interim injunctions has not been a consistent one, especially when the matter pertains to 'heavy' intellectual property cases, like the ones involving patents. That new technology can be mind-boggling seems to have bothered the judiciary which now spends considerable time (at the expense of other pending matters) hearing these heavy matters even at the interim stage. Such exclusive attention may be good for the litigants whose get undivided attention of the court in matters where their business interests are at stake. But from a systemic level, it portrays a sad state of affairs. My article in today's The Hindu Business Line brings forth the problems we will face if we follow the traditional approach of deciding a prima facie case, balance of convenience and irreparable hardship (the three elements to be satisfied for the grant of an interim injunction) and proposes a more efficient, equitable and time-saving approach in granting injunction. The article is available here.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Patent Office Releases New Draft Manual

THE PATENT OFFICE has released the latest (2008) version of its draft manual for patent practice and procedure. The same is available here. One can see that it is a larger (368 pages in pdf format) and improved version of the earlier one with a good amount of detail on the practice followed by the Patent Office. Here's what the Patent Office has to say on "efficacy":

4.5.3 The examiner makes comparison with regard to properties or enhancement of efficacy between the known substance and the new form of known substance. In case the new form is further converted into another new form, the comparison is made between the already existing form and another new form but not between the base compound and another new form.

4.5.4 The comparison with regard to properties or enhancement of efficacy is required to be made at the time of date of filing of the application or priority date if the application is claiming the priority of any earlier application but not at the stage of subsequent development.

4.5.5 The efficacy need not be quantified in terms of numerical value to determine whether the product is efficacious because it is not possible to have a standard numerical value for efficacy for all products including pharmaceutical products.

Like any effort, there is scope for improvement and the good thing is that the Patent Office believes so. Please send your comments to the Patent Office on any suggestion and improvements by 25 March 2008. It is a good effort and your participation will certainly make things better.