31 October 2018
Temporary Injunction: Manika Thevar Vs. Star Plough Works
First Publication Date: 6th January 2010
The Appellant, who is the patent holder of a patent relating to a pattern of a plough having a twist filed an infringement suit against the Respondent alleging that sale of similar ploughs amounts to infringement and applied for interim injunction against the Respondent during the pendency of the proceedings. In response, the Respondent denied the allegation of the Appellant by stating that the plough patented by the Appellant was not infringed because the patent was invalid as it was well known and lacked inventive genius.
The Court started its reasoning by expounding the principles regulating the grant of an interim injunction in a suit of infringement of a patent. It stated that the patent holder in an infringement suit must make out a strong prima facie case for the issue of a temporary injunction. The Court further stated that an interim injunction would not be granted if the patent obtained by the patent holder was a recent one and there is a serious controversy about the validity of the grant of the patent itself. If from the objections raised by the defendant it was clear that a serious controversy existed as to whether or not the invention claimed by the patent holder was a new one or whether or not the invention involved any new inventive skill having regard to what was known or used prior to the date of the patent, the Court stated that an interim injunction would not be granted restraining the defendant from pursuing his normal business activity.
Based on the facts of the case, the Court stated that the Appellant failed to show prima facie case by rebutting Respondent’s plea of prior knowledge and use and by failing to submit data relating to production and use of the patented product. It further stated that patent validity could not be attached because the patent was a very recent one, it being less than six years old. Additionally, the Court observed that there was a serious controversy about the validity of the grant of the patent touching the originality or the inventive genius of the patent holder or as to how far the prior knowledge holding the field would disentitle the patent holder to the grant of the patent based on prior knowledge and use. In the light of its analysis, as the Appellant failed to show prima facie case regarding patent validity, the Court denied the grant of interim injunction.