Monday, November 16, 2009

Opposition as a 'creditable challenge'

Strix Ltd v Maharaja Appliances Ltd (6.11.2009) (Delhi High Court order)

If you have an electric kettle at home, there’s probably Strix inside it. SpicyIP had a nice post on the above judgment. The Delhi High Court granted interim injunction restraining Maharaja Appliances from manufacturing and marketing Maharaja Whiteline electric kettle Model No EK 172 as it infringed Strix’s patent (IN 1,92,511, US 6,080,968). In granting injunction, the Court made two critical observations on why Maharaja failed to discharge its burden of raising a ‘creditable challenge’ to the validity of the Strix patent.

First, the court observed that the defendant failed to place on record some acceptable scientific material, supported or explained by the evidence of an expert, that the patent is prima facie vulnerable to revocation. Secondly, the court observed that the burden on the defendant to show that it has put forward a creditable challenge will be greater on account of the fact that there was no opposition filed to challenge Strix’s patent.

Prospective defendants in patent infringement suits may see a new meaning in using pre-grant opposition.

Other Strix cases:

Strix v Otter Controls [1991] F.S.R. 354 (Court of Appeal rebukes mini-trial)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Patenting Research Tools

The research-intensive biotech industry credits its phenomenal growth to the development of ground-breaking research tools like the recombinant DNA technology, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and the hybridoma technique. Research tools provide the basic foundation for applied downstream research. Many experts have argued that patenting research tools can change the culture of science. The Protection and Utilisation of Public Funded Intellectual Property Bill, 2008 modelled on the Bayh-Dole Act of the US allows universities and research institutions to patent basic research. My article titled "Does Patenting Research change the culture of Science?" appeared in The Hindu and the same can be read here.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Mumbai Workshop on Pre-grant Opposition and Strategy

AIPS (Academcy of Intellectual Property Studies) is conducting an one-day workshop on 26th February, 2009 titled "Challenging Patents: Developing an In-house Strategy on Pre-grant Opposition". I will be the main speaker for the day. Details of the program are available here. The workshop will be structured around my new book The Touchstone Effect.