SpicyIP Tidbit: And the Flame continues to rage…


The details of the Madras High Court order restraining TVS are available here. The HC has said that Bajaj has established a prima facie case in its favour owing to the fact that its patent was unchallenged for a considerable period. I believe this was an apprehension rightly expressed by Manisha Singh Nair in her article. TVS Motors seems to have contended that use of twin spark plugs in a cylinder of small bore (diameter) size does not amount to an inventive step to which the Court replied by saying that complex issues which go to the merits of the case need not be considered at this stage and that prima facie consideration was sufficient. It may be recalled that in its patent, Bajaj has claimed inventiveness in the use of twin spark plugs in engines of 100-220cc, which according to TVS is obvious since dual ignition technology, according to it, has long been part of prior art.

2 comments.

  1. AvatarPatman

    If the use of twin spark plugs in 100-220 cc engines are obvious, then why was a patent granted to Bajaj in the first place. Honestly, judges in India are not technically qualified to handle such cases. Also, legal counsel for such companies do not have any scientific qualifications and merely focus on the legalities of the case. Under such circumstances, aspects of patentability like Novelty & inventive step take the back seat.

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  2. AvatarJ. Sai Deepak

    Hi there,
    I concur with you on this count.Earlier, the dual ignition technology was used in engines of 250cc capacity or more, as reflected in the patents which i have referred to in my first guest post on techno-legal issues of the dispute. Now Bajaj claims that by making the technology compatible for small-sized engines, it has come up with a patentable invention which is not an accurate claim in my opinion. This i say because, even if past efforts in perfecting the technology were unsuccessful, it does not in itself make Bajaj’s technology non-obvious. The criteria of non-obviousness after a point moves beyond the realm of relative success achieved by one in comparison with others. In other words, the invention should be capable of standing on its own feet in terms of substantive innovative content. I beleive that the enormous success that this technology has been in the market combined with the passive behaviour of the competitors like TVS worked in the minds of the judges thereby laying the foundations of a presumption in favour of Bajaj. So the question has become that of, who is right instead of what is right.

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