THE PATENTS ACT, 1970
[As amended by the Tribunals Reforms (Rationalisation and Conditions of Service) Ordinance, 2021]
CHAPTER 18 – SUITS CONCERNING INFRINGEMENT OF PATENTS
No suit for a declaration under section 105 or for any relief under section 106 or for infringement of a patent shall be instituted in any court inferior to a district court having jurisdiction to try the suit:
Provided that where a counter-claim for revocation of the patent is made by the defendant, the suit, along with the counter-claim, shall be transferred to the High Court for decision.
104A. BURDEN OF PROOF IN CASE OF SUITS CONCERNING INFRINGEMENT.
(1) In any suit for infringement of a patent, where the subject matter of patent is a process for obtaining a product, the court may direct the defendant to prove that the process used by him to obtain the product, identical to the product of the patented process, is different from the patented process if,—
(a) the subject matter of the patent is a process for obtaining a new product; or
(b) there is a substantial likelihood that the identical product is made by the process, and the patentee or a person deriving title or interest in the patent from him, has been unable through reasonable efforts to determine the process actually used:
Provided that the patentee or a person deriving title or interest in the patent from him first proves that the product is identical to the product directly obtained by the patented process.
(2) In considering whether a party has discharged the burden imposed upon him by sub section (1), the court shall not require him to disclose any manufacturing or commercial secrets, if it appears to the court that it would be unreasonable to do so.
105. POWER OF COURT TO MAKE DECLARATION AS TO NON-INFRINGEMENT.
(1) Notwithstanding anything contained in section 34 of the Specific Relief Act, 1963 (47 of 1963), any person may institute a suit for a declaration that the use by him of any process, or the making, use or sale of any article by him does not, or would not, constitute an infringement of a claim of a patent against the patentee or the holder of an exclusive licence under the patent, notwithstanding that no assertion to the contrary has been made by the patentee or the licensee, if it is shown—
(a) that the plaintiff has applied in writing to the patentee or exclusive licensee for a’ written acknowledgements to the effect of the declaration claimed and has furnished him with full particulars in writing of the process or article in question; and
(b) that the patentee or licensee has refused or neglected to give such an acknowledgement.
(2) The costs of all parties in a suit for a declaration brought by virtue of this section shall, unless for special reasons the court thinks fit to order otherwise, be paid by the plaintiff.
(3) The validity of a claim of the specification of a patent shall not be called in question in a suit for a declaration brought by virtue of this section, and accordingly the making or refusal of such a declaration in the case of a patent shall not be deemed to imply that the patent is valid or invalid.
(4) A suit for a declaration may be brought by virtue of this section at any time after the publication of grant of a patent, and references in this section to the patentee shall be construed accordingly.
106. POWER OF COURT TO GRANT RELIEF IN CASES OF GROUNDLESS THREATS OF INFRINGEMENT PROCEEDINGS.
(1) Where any person (whether entitled to or interested in a patent or an application for patent or not) threatens any other person by circulars or advertisements or by communications, oral or in writing addressed to that or any other person, with proceedings for infringement of a patent, any person aggrieved thereby may bring a suit against him praying for the following reliefs, that is to say—
(a) a declaration to the effect that the threats are unjustifiable;
(b) an injunction against the continuance of the threats; and
(c) such damages, if any, as he has sustained thereby.
(2) Unless in such suit the defendant proves that the acts in respect of which the proceedings were threatened constitute or, if done, would constitute, an infringement of a patent or of rights arising from the publication of a complete specification in respect of a claim of the specification not shown by the plaintiff to be invalid the court may grant to the plaintiff all or any of the reliefs prayed for.
Explanation.—A mere notification of the existence of a patent does not constitute a threat of proceeding within the meaning of this section.
107. DEFENCES, ETC., IN SUITS FOR INFRINGEMENT.
(1) In any suit for infringement of a patent every ground on which it may be revoked under section 64 shall be available as a ground for defence.
(2) In any suit for infringement of a patent by the making, using or importation of any machine, apparatus of other article or by the using of any process or by the importation, use or distribution or any medicine or drug, it shall be a ground for defence that such making, using, importation or distribution is in accordance with any one or more of the conditions specified in section 47.
107A. CERTAIN ACTS NOT TO BE CONSIDERED AS INFRINGEMENT.
For the purposes of this Act,—
(a) any act of making, constructing, using, selling or importing a patented invention solely for uses reasonably related to the development and submission of information required under any law for the time being in force, in India, or in a country other than India, that regulates the manufacture, construction, use, sale or import of any product;
(b) importation of patented products by any person from a person who is duly authorised under the law to produce and sell or distribute the product, shall not be considered as a infringement of patent rights.
108. RELIEFS IN SUIT FOR INFRINGEMENT.
(1) The reliefs which a court may grant in any suit for infringement include an injunction (subject to such terms, if any, as the court thinks fit) and, at the option of the plaintiff, either damages or an account of profits.
(2) The court may also order that the goods which are found to be infringing and materials and implements, the predominant use of which is in the creation of infringing goods shall be seized, forfeited or destroyed, as the court deems fit under the circumstances of the case without payment of any compensation.
109. RIGHT OF EXCLUSIVE LICENSEE TO TAKE PROCEEDINGS AGAINST INFRINGEMENT.
(1) The holder of an exclusive licence shall have the like right as the patentee to institute a suit in respect of any infringement of the patent committed after the date of the licence, and in awarding damages or an account of profits or granting any other relief in any such suit the court shall take into consideration any loss suffered or likely to be suffered by the exclusive licensee as such or, as the case may be, the profits earned by means of the infringement so far as it constitutes an infringement of the rights of the exclusive licensee as such.
(2) In any suit for infringement of a patent by the holder of an exclusive licence under sub section (1), the patentee shall, unless he has joined as a plaintiff in the suit, be added as a defendant, but a patentee so added as defendant shall not be liable for any costs unless he enters an appearance and takes part in the proceedings.
110. RIGHT OF LICENSEE UNDER SECTION 84 TO TAKE PROCEEDINGS AGAINST INFRINGEMENT.
Any person to whom a licence has been granted under section 84 shall be entitled to call upon the patentee to take proceedings to prevent any infringement of the patent, and, if the patentee refuses or neglects to do so within two months after being so called upon, the licensee may institute proceedings for the infringement in his own name as though he were the patentee, making the patentee a defendant; but a patentee so added as defendant shall not be liable for any costs unless he enters an appearance and takes part in the proceedings.
111. RESTRICTION ON POWER OF COURT TO GRANT DAMAGES OR ACCOUNT OF PROFITS FOR INFRINGEMENT.
(1) In a suit for infringement of patent, damages or an account of profits shall not be granted against the defendant who proves that at the date of the infringement he was not aware and had no reasonable grounds for believing that the patent existed.
Explanation.—A person shall not be deemed to have been aware or to have had reasonable grounds for believing that a patent exists by reason only of the application to an article of the word “patent”, “patented” or any word or words expressing or implying that a patent has been obtained for the article, unless the number of the patent accompanies the word or words in question.
(2) In any suit for infringement of a patent the court may, if it trunks fit, refuse to grant any damages or an account of profits in respect of any infringement committed after a failure to pay any renewal fee with the prescribed period and before any extension of that period.
(3) Where an amendment of a specification by way of disclaimer, correction or explanation has been allowed under this Act after the publication of the specification, no damages or account of profits shall be granted in any proceeding in respect of the use of the invention before the date of the decision allowing the amendment, unless the court is satisfied that the specification as originally published was framed in good faith and with reasonable skill and knowledge.
(4) Nothing in this section shall affect the power of the court to grant an injunction in any suit for infringement of a patent.
112. RESTRICTION ON POWER OF COURT TO GRANT INJUNCTION IN CERTAIN CASES.
[Omitted by the patients (Amendment) ACT, 202]
113. CERTIFICATE OF VALIDITY OF SPECIFICATION AND COSTS OF SUBSEQUENT SUITS FOR INFRINGEMENT THEREOF.
(1) If in any proceedings before a High Court for the revocation of a patent under section 64 and section 104, the validity of any claim of a specification is contested and that claim is found by the High Court to be valid, the High Court may certify that the validity of that claim was contested in those proceedings and was upheld.
(2) Where any such certificate has been granted, then, if in any subsequent suit before a court for infringement of that claim of the patent or in any subsequent proceeding for revocation of the patent in so far as it relates to that claim, the patentee or other person relying on the validity of the claim obtains a final order or judgment in his favour, he shall be entitled to an order for the payment of his full costs, charges and expenses of and incidental to any such suit or proceeding properly incurred so far as they concern the claim in respect of which the certificate was granted, unless the court trying the suit or proceeding otherwise directs:
Provided that the costs as specific in this sub-section shall not be ordered when the party disputing the validity of the claim satisfies the court that he was not aware of the grant of the certificate when he raised the dispute and withdrew forthwith such defence when he became aware of such a certificate.
(3) Nothing contained in this section shall be construed as authorising the courts hearing appeals from decrees or orders in suits for infringement or petitions for revocation, as the case may be, to pass orders for costs on the scale referred to therein.
114. RELIEF FOR INFRINGEMENT OF PARTIALLY VALID SPECIFICATION.
(1) If in proceedings for infringement of a patent it is found that any claim of the specification, being a claim in respect of which infringement is alleged, is valid, but that any other claim is invalid, the court may grant relief in respect of any valid claim which is infringed:
Provided that the court shall not grant relief except by way of injunction save in the circumstances mentioned in sub-section (2).
(2) Where the plaintiff proves that the invalid claim was framed in good faith and with reasonable skill and knowledge, the court shall grant relief in respect of any valid claim which is infringed subject to the discretion of the court as to costs and as to the date from which damages or an account of profits should be reckoned, and in exercising such discretion the court may take into consideration the conduct of the parties in inserting such invalid claims in the specification or permitting them to remain there.
115. SCIENTIFIC ADVISERS.
(1) In any suit for infringement or in any proceeding before a court under this Act, the court may at any time, and whether or not an application has been made by any party for that purpose, appoint an independent scientific adviser, to assist the court or to inquire and report upon any such question of fact or of opinion (not involving a question of interpretation of law) as it may formulate for the purpose.
(2) The remuneration of the scientific adviser shall be fixed by the court and shall include the costs of making a report and a proper daily fee for any day on which the scientific adviser may be required to attend before the court, and such remuneration shall be defrayed out of moneys provided by Parliament by law for the purpose.