SpicyIP Tidbit: Trends in Indian patent litigation

A Supreme Court judge, Justice Altamas Kabir at the inauguration of the Judges’ Round Table on Intellectual Property Rights Adjudication organised by the Tamil Nadu State Judicial Academy and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) was quoted as saying “Intellectual Property rights is not a new concept, its age old one but still there is not much awareness among advocates and common public”. It is indeed refreshing to hear a Supreme Court judge admit that the concept of IPRs is an age old one instead of indulging in the usual rhetoric about the concept being alien to India and one that was forced upon us by imperial western powers and their agents.
Also interesting was the judge’s observation that there are over 75 pending patent cases in the Delhi High Court with several more pending in the Bombay and Madras High Courts. It would be interesting to find out how many pending patent cases exist throughout the country especially since in the last one year we’ve heard reports of patent litigation from the Himachal Pradesh High Court, the Gujarat High Court & also the Karnataka High Court. Its no surprise that the Delhi High Court has the highest number of pending cases since it has historically been the most active IP jurisdiction in the country. However it remains to be seen as to how it will withstand competition from the Madras High Court which seems to be a more patent friendly High Court since it has been quite liberal in granting temporary injunctions. For e.g. in the high profile TVS-Bajaj case the Madras HC granted Bajaj a temporary injunction while the Delhi High Court refused to grant an injunction in the equally high profile Roche-Cipla dispute. The volume of litigation in a particular High Court is directly linked to the litigant’s perception of the prevalent attitudes in the High Court and it is common for litigants to go about forum shopping in order to ensure judgments in their favour. To that extent the Madras High Court may emerge as the preferred destination for patent cases.
Prashant Reddy

Prashant Reddy

T. Prashant Reddy graduated from the National Law School of India University, Bangalore, with a B.A.LLB (Hons.) degree in 2008. He later graduated with a LLM degree (Law, Science & Technology) from the Stanford Law School in 2013. Prashant has worked with law firms in Delhi and in academia in India and Singapore. He is also co-author of the book Create, Copy, Disrupt: India's Intellectual Property Dilemmas (OUP).

One comment.

  1. AvatarAnonymous

    Would like to know whether there existed a monopolies over intellectual creations before the passing of the copyright act, patent act etc by the ‘imperialist powers’. would also like to know whether you can actually classify as rhetoric all concerns about how culture of legal protection was imposed on the people. kindly enlighten.


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