Patent

IPAB knocks down 12 patents of Dr. Alloy Wobbens; Major victory for Enercon India


Over the last few months we have carried a few posts on a massive patent battle between Enercon India and its JV partner Enercon GmBH, one of the largest players in the wind-turbine market. The genesis of the dispute has been discussed by us over here. All the Enercon GmBh patents are held in the name of Dr. Alloy Wobbens the founder and CEO of Enercon GmBH.
Image from here.

Enercon India had challenged 23 patents belonging to Dr. Alloy Wobbens in the year 2009 by filing revocation petitions before the Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB). After hearing both parties through October and November, 2010, a bench of the IPAB, consisting of Mr. S. Chandrasekharan sitting as Technical Member and Ms. S. Usha sitting as Judicial Member revoked 12 of the patents. The remaining petitions will be heard after a new technical member has been appointed by the Central Government since Chandrasekharan has now retired from the IPAB.

While Enercon India was represented by leading patent law firm Lakshmi Kumaran and Sreedharan, the patentees were represented by Remfry & Sagar, DePenning and DePenning and D.P. Ahuja. Apart from the litigation before the IPAB there is also pending patent litigation before the Delhi High Court, where Dr. Alloy Wobbens is being represented by another leading patent law firm – Anand and Anand. The status of the litigation before the Delhi High Court is not yet clear. As we had blogged earlier the same patents were under litigation before both the Delhi High Court and the IPAB. It is yet to be ascertained whether any of the patents before the Delhi High Court were struck down by the IPAB.
Either way this is a stunning victory for Lakshmi Kumaran and Sreedharan and will go a long way in cementing their reputation as one of the leading patent law firms in India.
The IPAB website is unfortunately not hosting any of these Orders.
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).

16 comments.

  1. AvatarAnonymous

    It’s a pity that we can see the orders. The IPAB should make the decisions available online for better transparency. Besides, sine we hardly have case laws in Indian Patent litigation, we need more cases to read, analyze and debate in order to build a better enforcement regime.

    Reply
  2. AvatarAnonymous

    I really wonder what was the motivating factor for IPAB to issue revocation order for 12 patents just within a short span of two months.

    IPAB patent division came to force from April 2007. I do not think IPAB passed more than 6 revocation final orders during the period from April 2007 to DEC 2010.

    Is there a 2G scam here as well!!!!

    Reply
  3. AvatarAnonymous

    What is so stunning about the Victory of L & S, Mr Reddy?

    Cases are won/lost based on the merit of the case.

    There is not a huge weightage on who the lawyers representing the case are! Although, it is important, but not as important as you suggest it to be, especially in this case where Remfris were representing the other side.

    Reply
  4. AvatarPrashant Reddy

    @ Anon – 2:46 PM

    I think Lawyers can make or break case and when a law firm manages to get 12 patents struck down they definitely deserve a round of applause. At the very least they deserve credit for getting the IPAB to actually decide a revocation petition! Anyway as a I highlighted in the post there were two other firms involved in the dispute apart from Remfry. What every may be your personal opinion of these law firms they are ranked in the top of their category and if Lakshmi Kumaran managed to thrash them collectively it is definitely a stunning victory in my opinion

    Prashant

    Reply
  5. AvatarPrashant Reddy

    @12:16 & 10:52

    If you can show us any obvious faults in the decisions please do point them out to us and we will be happy to carry a post on it.

    Corruption is not an issue to be taken lightly and you would do well to not tarnish a person’s reputation without any basis whatsoever. Unless you can point out some glaring error in the judgments, that support your allegation, I will have to conclude that you’re just a disgruntled party who was adversely affected by the order.

    Prashant

    Reply
  6. AvatarAnonymous

    PR @ 11:23 PM

    I am still not convinced. Nevertheless, you are entitled to your opinion and so am I.

    The only difference is that you can post your opinion on the main page where thousands will read and I get to post it on a non-significant page where very few will reach to read!

    It is for this very reason I request you to avoid using emotional adjectives like stunning etc – in both praising and criticising. At least, for the sake of giving a perception to your readers that you are always neutral in reporting/commenting.

    A simple applauding statement such as the one you made in your comment – “that the winning party’s Law firm certainly deserve a round of appluase” – would have been sufficient and conveyed what you wanted to. The decorative adjectives gives some other perception.

    PS – I have nothing against any of the law firms.

    Reply
  7. AvatarShamnad Basheer

    Dear Anon:

    I think you should be kind enough to leave choice of adjectives to the authors’ discretion. Knocking down 12 patents would suggest a stunning legal victory by most standards. If you have any information that detracts from the “stunning” nature of the victory, kindly furnish it to us and we’ll be happy to run a post giving your insightful inside information and we’ll ensure that it reaches the thousands that you speak of.

    But if you merely engage in baseless trivia around adjectival usage, its nothing more than a waste of time for Prashant Reddy and for all of us who spend countless hours bringing you regular IP analysis and updates. Kindly spare us that and show us some mercy. Thank you very much for understanding.

    Reply
  8. AvatarShamnad Basheer

    there have been a couple of comments again taking issue with adjectival aspects relating to the victory of Enercon India. I suspect it could be from those that are connected with the patentee and/or their law firm. Please note that much as we feel your angst at this loss, we will not publish any comments of this nature, unless you take the time to give us something more substantive–i.e. did the IPAB get it wrong in its decisions etc etc? This will greatly improve the level of debates and take it to a more constructive level. Since you appear to have this inside information, we request you to please share it with us, so we can have an open and transparent debate. But till then, merely pointing out stylistic issues will get us nowhere.

    Till the time that you’re ready to offer something more substantive and pertinent, I’d advise you to take some deep breaths and meditate and accept the fact that you win some and you lose some. Peace be upon you and let us work together for the improvement of Indian IP.

    Reply
  9. AvatarAnonymous

    That is indeed a stunning performance by the law firm, especially in making the IPAB to take up the cases out of order and issue a decision in record time.

    The comments of second reader should not be ignored, statistics that only 6 orders were issued in 3years and suddenly 12 in 2 months! Did the IPAB suddenly get productive? Why then did they take these cases out of order, when these were filed in 2009, and orders from far earlier cases are still pending, some not even heard? Why a sudden interest in these cases?

    Reply
  10. AvatarPrashant Reddy

    @ Anon (1:34 AM)

    You are probably a stranger to litigation in India but this is nothing out of the ordinary. If lawyers apply enough pressure, Courts in India do take up matters on an expedited basis. There is nothing illegal or immoral about it. It just depends on the circumstances and the lawyers handling the case.

    Prashant

    Reply
  11. AvatarAnonymous

    @ Prashanth : Do you really stand by your comment and think that is correct? What happen to the fair, just and transparency you want to infuse into the ecosystem of IP?

    “apply enough pressure” and that is not illegal or immoral! Can you please substantiate that!

    BTW I am not a stanger to IP in India, and that is the reason I think this behavior was not right, so I though this blog did too, till I see your comment!

    Reply
  12. AvatarPrashant Reddy

    @ Anon – You are definitely not an IP litigator in India. ‘Applying enough pressure’ means filing early hearing applications and badgering the Judges to hear cases. It is completely legitimate and accepted practice. If you can demonstrate enough reasons for an early hearing a Judge may be willing to hear you out. It happens on a regular basis in the High Courts.

    There are lawyers who set out to achieve justice for their clients and there are lawyers who like to feed off their clients by prolonging the matter. I’ve seen cases where evidence is not filed for years and the opposite side does not even ask the Court to close evidence and proceed to arguments. Instead lawyers turn up for each and every hearing and bill their clients for it.

    Besides I’m disgusted with the comments that I’ve received on this post. If you have evidence of nepotism or corruption then provide us with that evidence. I am not going to stand by and keep quiet while you people indulge in character assassination just because you lost a case before the IPAB.

    Prashant

    Reply
  13. AvatarKiers

    I am one of the few international readers referred to this blog from NYT.

    I smell a rat. How can you say it’s a “great legal victory” if 12 patents are struck down. It could be a legal travesty as well. Your blog is blatantly one sided and lost in technical minutae of the case.

    I followed 7-8 links (going back to a post in Oct 2010 the earliest) and NOWHERE is there an explanation of WHY the patents were struck down?

    Given India’s judicial reputation (bad), and Indian Police reputation etc. (bad), you can’t expect to shill for one side without evidence methinks.

    Reply
  14. AvatarPrashant Reddy

    @ Kiers,

    1. I never said it was a ‘great legal victory’ per se. Don’t misquote me. I said it was a major victory for Enercon. In an objective sense if a company wins all 12 cases it filed, it is a 100% success and hence can be classified as a ‘major victory’.

    2. You obviously have not read our subsequent posts where we have clearly provided links to the judgments themselves and explained how the patents were struck down as being obvious.

    3. Further, we have also posted and given links to a U.K. judgement which records the fact that Enercon GmBH has actually admitted to its patents being obvious before the U.K. Court. If you are a lawyer you will understand that this is an incredible admission almost never made in patent cases especially.

    4. If you read the NYT article fully you will note that it points out to Enercon GmBH’s misdeeds in the U.S. Add to this the trouble they had in the U.K. and its quite obvious who is at the fault over here.

    Prashant

    Reply

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